The summer already seems like a fleeting memory as we prepare to embark on another academic year. But even as we focus on the energy and renewal that is part of the new school year, it is worth reflecting on a few events and activities of the past months.
Among the most noteworthy is the fact that, as one of the College’s trustees recently remarked while visiting the campus, the place was ''teeming with youth.'' We offered a variety of camps and other summer experiences that provide a beneficial community service while familiarizing future students with La Roche. Add to that our academic summer session, and you have the basis for what can become an increasingly important part of the College’s burgeoning development.
The summer was also a time when many of our incoming freshmen visited the campus. I was privileged to be able to sit down and talk individually with a number of them, and I can tell you that our entering class contains some extraordinary young people. We have freshmen who are the academic and social leaders of their high schools and who are coming from some of the preeminent high schools in the region. This is due in no small measure to the growing academic reputation of the College, something that we all, but especially the faculty, can take great pride in.
As a reflection of our commitment to academic quality, we are pleased to welcome six new full-time faculty to the College. As they join their colleagues, it is a reminder of how fortunate La Roche is to have so many exceptional faculty members at a school of our size.
Also new to the campus this fall will be the first eight students from the Republic of Burundi. They come to us with financial support from USAID and will be officially welcomed next Tuesday when Ambassador Thomas Ndikumana from Burundi visits La Roche. We are also expecting Congresswoman Melissa Hart to join us on that occasion. She, along with Congressman Bill Coyne and Senators Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter, have been active over the summer in efforts to secure federal funding for several La Roche initiatives.
These are just a few of the many positive indicators of the growing strength and direction of the College.
I look forward to working together with all of you in the year ahead as we endeavor to advance the College’s mission, and I pray that God will continue to bless our efforts.