Happy New Year from Lewis-Clark State College! 2015 was a great year for LCSC. From a national championship, to record numbers of graduates and degrees awarded at spring commencement, to accolades, building renovations, and initiatives started, it is not difficult to look back on the past year with a sense of accomplishment and to hold high hopes for the year ahead.
To name one highlight from last year as above the rest is practically impossible, however, the Warrior baseball team dogpiling near the mound of historic Harris Field in celebration of the program’s 17th national title has to rank near the top. I again congratulate Head Coach Jeremiah Robbins and his players on winning the team’s first title since 2008 and thank them for being outstanding ambassadors of our institution.
Speaking of national publicity, LCSC was fortunate enough to be ranked in a pair of nationwide rankings in 2015. In September, U.S. News & World Report selected LCSC as the fifth best college in the West among public institutions, and in October The Economist ranked LCSC second in Idaho in its first-ever economic value rankings. While the idea that LCSC provides a first-class education is nothing new to those familiar with the institution, we are always excited when outside sources help spread the word that Lewis-Clark State is a great undergraduate college.
The good news about LCSC seems to be reaching more and more ears lately, as indicated by the school’s record number of graduates (792) and degrees awarded (844) at May’s commencement ceremonies. This was followed by strong fall enrollment numbers. According to Oct. 15’s official report, LCSC had an 8.8 percent increase in new entering students and a 4.1 percent increase in students coming straight from high school. With enrollment heading in the right direction and more students graduating from LCSC than ever before, the future of our fine institution looks bright and I’m excited to be a part of it.
Also in October, Lewis-Clark State saw its first homecoming since 1979 come and go. Warrior Homecoming 2015 went off without a hitch and will serve as a solid foundation from which to continue to rebuild this great tradition at LCSC. We thank the hundreds of alumni, faculty and staff members, students, and friends of the college who took part in the three-day festivities and look forward to seeing you all again next fall.
Not to be overshadowed by October, September brought quite a bit of good news as well, including the announcement that our TRIO Student Support Services program received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. We again congratulate the Student Support Services office and wish them continued success in providing critical help to students in need.
Speaking of awards, for the second time in as many years Lewis-Clark State received the Orchid Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation & Contribution to Historic Preservation. LCSC was honored for the renovation of the Silverthorne Theater and, if you haven’t already, I encourage you pay a visit to campus and see how beautifully the project turned out.
The LCSC Work Scholars program, the only one of its kind in Idaho, was launched in 2015. The program, which pairs highachieving students with meaningful on-campus jobs, began in the fall thanks to $209,000 in annual funding from the Idaho Legislature. Each student receives a full tuition scholarship for the academic year. Eleven students participated in the inaugural semester, and program coordinators have expanded the program to 20 this spring.
The accomplishments named in this short letter, and the many others not mentioned, are a testament to the wonderful students who have walked through our halls, the hardworking faculty and staff members who continue stand out among their peers, and the generous support of the college’s many friends and alumni. Speaking of the latter, I would be remiss if I did not mention the recordsetting year the LCSC Foundation had as it distributed a record $603,198 in scholarships and awards during the 2015 fiscal year. I thank all those who bear and bolster the name of Lewis-Clark State College.
Established in 1893, LCSC has a storied history full of milestones, major accomplishments, and successful alumni, and I am confident the college’s best years are still ahead.
J. Anthony Fernandez President