FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2007
Office of College Communications
WENHAM, MA-This Saturday, May 19, 2007, six of the orginal New City Scholars will walk across a stage and receive a bachelor's degree from one of the nation's top Christian liberal arts colleges. The New City Scholars program was created in 2003 to assist and retain academically capable students from urban communities within the Boston area. Four years later, through specialized support programs, academic skill preparation, peer mentoring, urban community service projects and leadership building, these students, many of whom are first generation college graduates, will receive their degrees in front of an anticipated crowd of more than 3,000.
"It's hard to believe that it's been four years since the original New City Scholars arrived at Gordon," said R. Judson Carlberg, president of Gordon College. "We are so proud to have these students on our campus as they're a particularly important part of the Gordon community, our mission and our commitment to improving overall diversity on campus. We now have roughly 35 New City Scholar students enrolled here at Gordon and we hope that number continues to grow."
According to New City Scholar and graduating senior Dianne Andre, aside from the honor of being selected to receive the full-tuition scholarship, the best thing about being a New City Scholar was the community and the overall support she received while at Gordon. "When I first became a New City Scholar I was excited and scared. I had the same feelings that any student going to college for the first time would feel - but I had the support of nine other students who were experiencing the same program right there with me and I never felt alone in my new environment."
President Carlberg and his wife Jan recently held a banquet at their home to celebrate the four-year journey of this unique group of New City Scholars. Family, faculty and friends of the students gathered to honor the achievements of the first cohort class and it presented an opportunity for the students to share their stories. In a recent recap of the event, Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent wrote, "Full of laughter, sportive photos, and some melancholy, the New City Scholars banquet underscored the diverse journeys of these urban students and their families. At one compelling moment, New City Scholar Sam Tsoi concluded his remarks by speaking directly to his parents in Chinese."
The New City Scholars program offers full scholarships to ten students annually from Boston and surrounding urban settings to attend Gordon College. The New City Scholars are identified through relationships Gordon College has built with Boston-based organizations such as Emmanuel Gospel Center's Boston Education Collaborative. New City Scholars embody the essential elements of racial harmony, diverse perspectives, experiences, cultures and talents. They also bring a personal desire to foster racial understanding through unity and engagement. A key contribution of the program is that the New City Scholars challenge members of Gordon College to develop open minds as they live in community and prepare for positions of leadership and service.
The following six New City Scholars will be graduating on Saturday: Dianne Andre of Boston, Dean Blackette of Hyde Park, Matt Hicks of Dorchester, Sonya Peters of Brockton, Kevin Thai of Malden and Sam Tsoi also of Malden.
For more information contact Ashley Hopkins at 978.867.4569 or e-mail ashley.hopkinsgordon.edu.
Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.