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Letter from the President

March 26, 2019

Dear Eckerd College Family,

This month the Class of 1969 celebrated its 50th reunion on campus, and as I visited with alumni, I was deeply impressed by their abiding commitment to this institution. My conversations throughout the weekend confirmed my belief that their dedication to Eckerd is the fruit born from the intentional cultivation of relationships that this campus has fostered between students and faculty for generations. I am pleased your student has selected Eckerd, and we remain committed to providing the academic experiences, residential spaces, and recreational opportunities on campus that encourage relationship building and provide our students with intellectually and personally enriching educational moments that will nourish their careers and personal lives long after graduating from Eckerd College.

With these goals in mind, we continue to strengthen our academic and student life programs through careful resource management and the vision and generosity of our supporters. As an important part of maintaining our commitment to excellence, the total cost of tuition, fees, room and meals will increase next year by $1,996 which is a 3.49% increase. As always, we stand ready to work closely with our students and their families to assist with individual financial challenges.

Our academic program continues to recruit outstanding new faculty members who inspire students within and outside the classroom. As a result of faculty searches this spring, we are pleased to announce we have hired full-time faculty members in the following majors: Animal Studies, French, Spanish, Film Studies, Mathematics, Communication, Biology and Chemistry. Not only have these individuals earned their degrees from prestigious institutions, but they also understand and embrace the value of teaching undergraduate students in a liberal arts setting.

Additional accolades include the following:

  • The College’s academic program now offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing as well as in Theatre. In addition, we now boast a major in Animal Studies and a minor in Entrepreneurship.
  • Our phenomenal study abroad program was once again recognized for its excellence. According to the Institute for International Education’s (IIE’s) 2018 Open Doors Report, the College is ranked sixth in the U.S. for total participation in study abroad at baccalaureate colleges.
  • This May, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and former Eckerd College faculty member, Jack Davis, will return to where his career began to deliver Eckerd College’s 56th Annual Commencement address. Davis is the author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.

Complementing our outstanding academic program with its talented professors, inspiring research opportunities, fulfilling internships, and enriching study abroad opportunities are recent enhancements to our residential and co-curricular programs.

  • The renovation of the seven legacy complexes is now complete. Each of these residential complexes received new flooring, new bathrooms, and new interior doors.
  • The Bevan Center for Academic Excellence continues to serve as the hub of academic support for students. This past summer the space was renovated to create offices for our academic coaches and the scholarship/fellowship advisor so that they might continue their fine work ensuring that our students are academically successful and securing the most prestigious scholarships and fellowships. In addition, testing rooms were created so that students who require accommodations can complete their exams in quiet, semi-private conditions.
  • The Cobb renovation for Athletic offices was completed in the fall. This renovation expanded the meeting space for prospective parents and student athletes and also added seven new offices and four cubicles to house the entire Intercollegiate Athletics Staff in Cobb. The next phase of the Athletics project will begin in late March and will focus principally on renovating the McArthur Gymnasium locker rooms and sports medicine facilities.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide our students with an exceptional education that teaches them to think critically and creatively. We are grateful for your partnership as we work to prepare Eckerd students to become effective and thoughtful citizens of our world.

All best wishes,
Donald R. Eastman III