Lisle, Illinois ~ The beginning of a new school year is always an exciting time at Benedictine University, but this year even more so. The University is in an enviable position as it continues to grow in many areas as well as welcome change for future opportunities.
For the first time in 20 years, Benedictine has a new president. In addition, a new state-of-the-art business building is opening this fall, the main quad is being reconstructed, and new traditional undergraduate, graduate and athletic programs continue to be added at the Lisle and Mesa, Ariz., campuses.
Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., former president of Marymount California University, was named the 11th president of Benedictine University by the board of trustees in early June. Brophy succeeded President Emeritus William J. Carroll, Ph.D., who guided Benedictine through a period of unprecedented growth during his two-decades-long tenure.
A Fulbright exchange scholarship recipient with a Ph.D. in in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin, Brophy served as the campus executive officer and dean of the University of Wisconsin’s Baraboo campus and associate provost at Long Island University in New York before he was named president at Marymount.
“The Catholic mission and community tradition attracted me to Benedictine and I am very excited about the future,” said Brophy, who formally assumed the presidency on August 17. “Higher education faces some difficult challenges in the years ahead, but I believe that Benedictine University is positioned to meet those challenges.”
Some of those challenges include providing students with facilities that offer the latest technology and conveniences – the newest addition is best represented by the new Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business. Goodwin Hall, scheduled to open in October, will house the University’s undergraduate and graduate business programs and internationally-recognized doctoral programs in Organization Development and Values-Driven Leadership.
Goodwin Hall will feature technology-enhanced classrooms, comfortable study areas, seminar rooms, a 600-seat auditorium to facilitate lectures by leading business thinkers, a real-time trading lab that provides hands-on investing experience and a Starbucks café.
Among the College of Business offerings are two new undergraduate programs – a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Entrepreneurship and a B.B.A. in Human Resource Management – and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance, the 16th graduate-level program available at Benedictine.
The B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship is designed to provide students with the essential theories, critical-thinking skills and real-world knowledge necessary to support their launch into careers as entrepreneurs. The Human Resource Management program will prepare managers who can plan, direct and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization.
In Mesa, the latest additions to academic programs are bachelor’s degrees in Political Science (with a concentration in Pre-Law) and Graphic Arts and Design. This comes after the greatly anticipated Spanish major with a concentration in Medical Spanish was introduced earlier this year.
All the new programs are designed to help students succeed in growing job areas that will give them a leg up on the competition. The strength of a values-based liberal arts education has become a “must-have” for a college degree today as employers want well-rounded employees who can think creatively, communicate and write well, and be able to interact with people from different backgrounds. Benedictine has been providing students this balance for more than 128 years.
More than 700 new freshmen and transfer students will begin classes in late August University-wide. They will join students throughout the Chicago and Phoenix metropolitan areas, Illinois, Arizona, all 50 states and more than a dozen countries who have made Benedictine one of the fastest-growing campuses in the country.
Student athletes on BenU’s baseball team will be welcoming new coach Adam Smith, the former Concordia University Chicago field boss who succeeds 43-year veteran John Ostrowski. Smith posted a record of 179-53 during five seasons at Concordia, where he won four Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference championships and advanced to four NCAA regional tournaments.
Also beginning with the fall 2015 term, freshmen who may not be athletes but can play a mean horn or snare drum, will be eligible for $2,000 scholarships to participate in Benedictine’s Pep Band. The scholarship is renewable through the student’s senior year.
Students will also enjoy the extensively renovated Krasa Quad – an expanse of grass, trees, benches, sidewalks and landmark-style lamps. Scheduled for completion this fall, it will quickly be a social and relaxation hub for students throughout the day.
More new items are planned throughout the year to enhance student learning and success. Fall classes begin August 31.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fifth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.