Blue Mountain College has a lot to celebrate, and it did just that Monday night at a classy dinner for faculty, alumni, donors and friends of the school.
Adding to the class was author John Grisham, one of the most prolific and bestselling writers of our time. He was the speaker at the dinner and told warm and sometimes humorous stories about attending sixth grade in Ripley and practicing basketball with a group of friends in the college gym.
But the real purpose of the evening, on the occasion of the college’s 138th anniversary, was to give an update on the college’s decade-long Vision for 2012, and outline its new plan for growth and fundraising, Opening Doors of Opportunity.
The college has made substantial progress under its respected President Bettye Rogers Coward. It has become co-educational, and nearly doubled its enrollment over the past five years. It also has increased its on-campus residential population by 192 percent.
It also has increased the faculty size by 20 percent and made significant upgrades to college facilities.
It’s new plan includes renovation of a bank building and another building in Blue Mountain, renovation of a Victorian house at the south entrance to the campus, construction of a sportsplex, and an increase in the endowment of at least $1 million in the next three years.
It’s a doable plan with the support of alumni, donors and friends. The college has an important role to play in higher education and in our area economy.
We congratulate Coward and her staff, including Development Officer Jill West, for continuing to move the college forward at a rapid pace.