When Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan took the helm in 2007, one of his first major acts was to initiate an inclusive strategic planning process based on research. The resulting data showed areas that required attention. Among them were DelVal’s lack of visibility and the declining number of college-bound high school students.To offset these challenges, and others, DelVal needed to act. The strategic plan was that action. It has been in place since 2010, and its implementation has created momentum and is transforming the college.
It is a vision that will be realized through dedication, hard work and intense caring from those who know DelVal best and from those who have only recently come to know it.
Operating under the new vision, DelVal will strive to enhance both the living and learning experiences of students. Facilities will be added, improved and refurbished. There will be more activities, more speakers, more weekends of wonder. The campus will be enriched and enlivened. Larger numbers of student will be attracted to the greater diversity in high-level academic programs, more opportunities for research, real world experience and study abroad.
More scholarships will be available. There will be training for student leaders and programs advocating healthy lifestyles. Technology will advance. DelVal will become a place where the critical issues of the day are discussed and workable solutions are found. When the vision is realized, students, faculty, alumni and staff will feel a greater sense of pride and accomplishment. DelVal’s reputation will grow and its stature will increase.
DelVal will stay competitive and flexible. It will easily adapt to the changing needs and wants of students. It’s future will be secured.
To achieve all this, Delaware Valley College will become a university. The strategic planning committee was emphatic on this, and so the College will seek and attain university status.
This is the key and critical component of its new direction. Being a university will not result in significantly larger enrollment of undergrads. What it means is that academic disciplines will be organized in a new way for efficiency, effectiveness and an ability to work as interdisciplinary units. Such a structure will exhibit a comprehensive approach to learning, provide more options for students and increase enrollments on the graduate level.
The strong agricultural curriculum will be maintained, and all other programs will be elevated to its level.
The vision for DelVal is summarized in a graphic showing a university with two divisions – undergraduate and graduate and entrepreneurial. The undergraduate side is organized into three schools. Interdisciplinary and cooperative programs will exist in both divisions, and the common element for all will be experiential learning.
This vision helped attract the largest gift ever received by the College, one worth more than $30 million. On Sept. 13, 2010, Dr. Brosnan and Elizabeth H. “Betsy” Gemmill announced the gift from the Warwick Foundation and the Gemmill family. With this one gesture, the quiet phase of the campaign took wings and has been moving ever since.
While such a gift gives a huge jolt to a $50 million campaign, it cannot sustain it. Other gifts must follow.
There is great confidence at the College that DelVal’s network of alumni and friends is wide enough, strong enough and caring enough to complete the job.
Who is in this network? You are.
You, with fond memories of a nurturing college; you, whose career was spawned by a DelVal education; you, who recognizes the necessity for strong education in America; and you, who want to add to the richness of Bucks County by making its only four-year comprehensive college a university.
Success comes from participation, and a new tradition of giving must be established at DelVal if the vision is to be realized.
Students are the direct beneficiaries, but there is an unmatched level of satisfaction for donors who help create something of worth, who can make a building rise or change a life through learning.
Now is the time and you are the means. Without you there is no campaign.
The momentum must continue. The work must be completed. The effort must be shared.
For DelVal, there is a world of opportunity ahead, and an opportunity to get ahead in the world. At the same time, there are countervailing forces and potentially destructive challenges awaiting all colleges. A path through the trouble was outlined by the strategic plan. Now it needs financing.
The Realizing the Vision campaign is your campaign. It awaits your support. Embrace it. Own it. See and feel what you and it are capable of doing. The potential will amaze you.