Six months into my tenure, several elements have come into clearer focus that I think really shape the character of the University. What stands out to me is a special blend of academic excellence and access to opportunity for our students.
In the 25 years since Monmouth attained university status, we have been on a steady march to becoming a first-rate academic institution. That progress has certainly accelerated in recent years. At the same time, we are also proud of the fact that one-third of our undergraduate students receive federal Pell Grants, awarded to students with the greatest financial need.
At Monmouth, nearly half of our students—45 percent—are the first in their family to pursue a four-year college degree. Twenty-nine percent of our students self-identify as diverse. Taken together, these measures of access are very uncommon for a private Division I institution and will continue to inform our ongoing strategic planning process.
If we can unleash academic excellence and continue to open our doors to that kind of access, Monmouth will stake its claim to a national reputation as an institution that is both highly ranked and highly accessible.
I am pleased that this issue of Monmouth magazine showcases areas where our intellectual heft and our commitment to access shine. In “Our Warming Planet,” Breanne McCarthy gathers diverse perspectives on climate change from a cross section of faculty in different disciplines.
Closer to campus, in “Cross Talk,” Tony Marchetti profiles two students who are the first to matriculate to Monmouth as a result of our Future Scholars program, in which graduate interns from the educational counseling program mentor 6th through 12th graders in the Long Branch public schools.
There is so much about our University that makes me proud, from our championship athletic programs, to our engaging thought leadership, and to so many alumni success stories. This issue of the magazine covers them all. Enjoy!