Stonehill College announces major changes to academic structure and campus

EASTON, Mass. — Stonehill College has announced a major academic reorganization designed to further enhance the college’s strengths and better position it to connect students with emerging career opportunities. The 69-year-old Catholic college recently reorganized its academic program into the School of Arts and Sciences and the Leo J. Meehan School of Business.

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“This shift will mark a new era for the college as it leverages its strengths to attract and retain first-class faculty, develop and strengthen course options, and expand our diverse portfolio of innovative programming,” said Stonehill President Father John Denning, C.S.C.

Along with this academic reorganization, the college is investing more than $50 million in new facilities, with construction of an academic and welcome center on which work has already started. In spring 2018, the college will also break ground on a School of Business building.

Located on the main quad, these two new buildings will transform the academic heart of Stonehill’s campus.

In just six years, the college, which was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1948, will celebrate its 75th anniversary. This upcoming milestone presents an opportunity to reflect on the school’s challenges and successes, and to ensure that it enters the next quarter century ready to thrive in a constantly shifting higher-education marketplace. The reorganization accomplishes that goal, ensuring that Stonehill will adapt successfully in the decades to come. Given the trends in demographics, technology, higher education itself, and in the globalization of the economy, Stonehill recognizes that change is imperative for continued progress.

This is not the first major investment in 21st century technology and facilities. In 2004, the college saw a growing need to strengthen the sciences. By 2009, it had invested $33 million in the Shields Science Center, which has transformed the sciences at Stonehill and seen more graduates enter high demand fields such as biotech research, health sciences and chemistry.

Having followed the trends and responded to the interests of students and their families, faculty, alumni and friends, the college is now turning its attention to strengthening an already strong business program. A state-of-the-art space, the Meehan School of Business will do for business what the Shields Science Center has done for the sciences at the college.

As the college has bolstered the sciences and is now in the process of doing likewise for business, it is critical to understand that a Stonehill education rests on a liberal arts foundation, which is why the college is currently building a dedicated $18 million academic and welcome center.

“We believe that all students, including those in the sciences and business benefit from a firm grounding in the liberal arts,” said Father Denning. “Literature, philosophy, religious studies, ethics, history, the arts, and the social sciences are and will remain vital and vibrant at the college. We must adapt and evolve if we are to continue educating capable and talented graduates who contribute positively to their communities. Our two new schools will help us to do just that.” 

“Rooted in the vision Blessed Father Basil Anthony Moreau, C.S.C., founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the College always strives to prepare useful citizens for society, while doing our utmost to prepare citizens for Heaven,” he added.

For nearly 70 years, Stonehill graduates have long made a lasting impact in law and government, education, arts and humanities, in STEM fields, and in corporate and nonprofit work. The School of Arts and Sciences brings together core disciplines and departments to provide a comprehensive education that prepares each individual student for lives of leadership as critical and creative thinkers in their chosen field. Complementing investing in the sciences, the school will be headquartered in the new academic and welcome center with modern, technology-driven classrooms, a world-class lecture hall and collaborative workspaces for students and faculty.

About the Leo J. Meehan School of Business

Encompassing accounting, finance, international business, economics, healthcare administration, management, and marketing, the Meehan School of Business will bolster Stonehill’s already robust business programs through courses that keep students ahead of a rapidly changing economy with an expansive portfolio of internships, externships, study-abroad opportunities, and new, additional opportunities for experiential learning and scholarship.

This investment in the college wouldn’t be possible without the support of Stonehill alumnus and trustee Leo Meehan, the president and CEO of the W.B. Mason Company, for whom the building and school will be named. On June 2, 2017, Meehan and his W.B. Mason partners, John Greene and Steven Greene, made a $10 million commitment towards the construction of the school.

“This new academic structure is a critical step that will enhance our already strong reputation in the market, allowing us to enroll the best and brightest students and hire and retain top-notch faculty,” said Father Denning, “Together, these new schools will build upon our success — ensuring that the college is continuing to prepare students to be innovative thinkers who lead with compassion, while caring for one another within our community and beyond.”

“We are also deeply grateful to Leo Meehan for his extraordinarily generous $10 million contribution to the college and our School of Business,” continued Father Denning. “Thanks also to the support of so many dedicated alumni and friends, we are able to invest in our campus and build state-of-the-art facilities that will enhance student learning.

Dean of the Meehan School of Business, Debra Salvucci, said the new building and reinforced emphasis on the best in business education answers a growing interest from Stonehill students in pursuing careers in business, healthcare, and economics.

“The Leo J. Meehan School of Business brings together programs with already robust foundations and proven records of success — I am excited to guide that transition and lead us forward,” said Salvucci. “We are prepared to take advantage of our first-class facility, world-class technology and modern, adaptive classrooms to offer real-world training for our students.”

Dean of the School of Arts and Science, Peter Ubertaccio, said that with all of the liberal arts and science programs now under one banner, the college is able to more comprehensively steward the development of students and ensure they graduate prepared to excel in the workforce and to contribute to their community.

“With the School of Arts and Sciences, we are poised to recommit ourselves to academic and intellectual rigor, faculty development, and innovative pedagogies that challenge our students and prepare them to solve problems under real-world pressures,” said Ubertaccio.

Stonehill is a selective Catholic college located near Boston on a beautiful 384-acre campus in Easton. With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, the college engages 2,500 students in 80-plus rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields. The Stonehill community helps students to develop the knowledge, skills, and character to meet their professional goals and to live lives of purpose and integrity.

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