The College has made remarkable progress in myriad ways, many of which go above and beyond what might have been imagined at the outset of the Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan. We give thanks to the Lord for incredible philanthropic results beyond what we could have asked for and imagined. Hand in hand with these results, we give thanks to the Lord for the many ways that He has strengthened the College’s financial foundation, helping ensure that the College continues to be a lighthouse for Christian higher education in New England for many years to come.
We also celebrate the commitments of so many that have transformed the student life experience at Gordon. Renewed excellence in athletics, remarkable new programmatic opportunities, cohort programs, and a rich slate of spiritual development opportunities represent only a portion of the remarkable diversity and quality of student programming at the College. Among other accomplishments, over the last six years:
- The Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Science in Financial Analysis programs were launched.
- Gordon was once again named to Princeton Review’s top colleges list, and has stayed there ever since, as one of only two Christian colleges nationally ranked by both US News and World Report and Princeton Review.
- More than 100 evangelical leaders from North America gathered on campus for a conference by the Lausanne Creation Care Network.
- The Shalom Statement was created as a blueprint for the affirmation of human dignity and the flourishing of all within our community.
- Shields House in Beverly Farms was donated to the College.
- A grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center underwrote the creation of an anatomy and physiology cadaver lab for undergraduate research.
- The Global Honors Institute was launched as the institutional umbrella for Gordon’s array of honors offerings.
- Gordon-Plus was launched, giving current Gordon students the opportunity to start graduate programs early, take complimentary graduate classes and graduate with multiple degrees in a shorter overall time period.
- A 12-month payment plan was introduced to ease the financial planning burden on families.
- The quiet phase begins for the Faith Rising comprehensive campaign – the College’s most ambitious and successful fundraising venture ever, leading to an incredible $75.5MM lead gift and a campaign that is slated to end early, above goal.
- Tupper Hall, the heart of the College’s campus community, was renovated.
- The Gordon College Foundation was reinvigorated for managing real estate and business development opportunities for the College.
- The Career and Connection Institute was created, bringing together career services, academic advising, student success, alumni connections and contributing to a rise in College-brokered internship placements by 78% over the last 10 years.
- The Work Ahead initiative was launched to prepare students and Gordon’s academic offerings for the workplace of 2030.
- A nursing program partnership with Curry College was initiated.
- The School of Education was launched.
- The Gordon Global digital learning platform was launched with a $10 million endowment gift.
- The Bay Area Initiative was started to increase Gordon’s footprint domestically with internship opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- College academic offerings were restructured to prepare for Gordon’s Next Chapter.
- Student retention stands at the highest rate in several years.
- The School of Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies was launched to offer innovative learning opportunities to a broad range of students.
- In partnership with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the College created a grant-funded, joint program that allows students to earn a B.A. and M.Div. in five years, saving two years from traditional programs.
- This past year, first-year student enrollment rose by 5% over last year at a time when many peers schools experience new-student declines.
- Fiscal Year 2020 ended with some of the strongest financial measures in Gordon’s history, even in the midst of COVID-19.
We can only recognize these results as coming from the Lord. We also pause to recognize that the world has changed dramatically over the last five years, and there are areas of the strategic plan that have not come to fruition. As the pool of mission-appropriate, undergraduate students in New England continues to shrink, and with a looming “demographic cliff” for college-age students in 2026, Gordon will need to continue to invest resources and time into important opportunities to expand the circle of learners at the College while also working to bolster work to recruit and retain undergraduate students, who continue to serve as the lifeblood of the institution.
While the financial foundation of the College has improved markedly, Gordon continues to feel significant financial pressures that have not allowed the College to invest in faculty and staff in the way that we would like. We hope that the seeds planted this year with the Gordon Game Change tuition reset and the conclusion of the Faith Rising campaign will pay dividends in the future, but the College must find ways to support and recognize the work of a remarkably talented and committed workforce.
Finally, it was hard to imagine six years ago how deeply divided our nation would become. While the Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan included several important goals around growing diversity and cultural understanding on campus, this will be an important area of continued work for future administrations.