Gordon in the News: last updated 11/14/2008

Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent Receives Top Chief Academic Officer Award

November 12, 2008

Cyndi McMahon
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA- Out of nearly 600 member colleges and universities across the country, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) recently awarded Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent its top annual academic officer award for 2008.

Sargent received this year's Chief Academic Officer Award on November 1 at the CIC's annual CAO institute in Seattle, WA, for his contributions to colleagues at private colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

"A distinguishing feature of Mark Sargent's career has been his instrumental service in preparing chief academic officers for their work at private colleges and universities," said CIC President Richard Ekman in a recent press release congratulating the Gordon College provost for his contributions to the CIC and its member organizations.

During the Seattle ceremony Dr. Sargent was honored for assisting new deans and provosts, for his research and writing, and for his work developing national programs. He recently served a three-year term on the CIC Chief Academic Officers Task Force, chairing the group in his final year.

"We're enormously proud of Mark for his leadership and this honor," said Gordon College President R. Judson Carlberg. "The CIC has discovered what we've known for a while- that Mark Sargent is an incredibly gifted leader, one of those rare individuals who genuinely makes the community of higher education better for everyone."

Since 1996 Dr. Sargent, a resident of Hamilton, MA, has served as Gordon College's provost. As the provost he not only oversees the faculty and academic programs but also gives guidance to the directors and deans of the athletic, student development, ministry and admissions programs. He holds a Ph.D. in English and taught as a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands.

The CIC award citation presented to Sargent reads, in part:  "In recognition of your dedicated service to Gordon College and to the Council of Independent Colleges, we salute you for your commitment to strengthening independent higher education.

You encourage CAOs to be imaginative, creative, and visionary and to take time for renewal in order to serve their institutions more effectively. You have distinguished yourself as a valuable colleague by widely sharing your wisdom and expertise on achieving excellence in academic programs, forming more effective policies, and learning from best practices."

In his acceptance speech, Sargent commented on the importance of independent higher education for democracy. "At its best, this conference has helped me see educational trends, global issues, and federal mandates, even the best ones like those related to access and accountability, through the lenses of our distinctive missions," Sargent said. "I come away thinking less about simply producing graduates and more about strategies for awakening the moral imagination of our students."

The full text of Provost Sargent's remarks can be viewed here. For more information, contact the Office of College Communication at 978.867.4235.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 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.