Letter from the President

April 19, 2017

Dear Eckerd College Family,

I am pleased to write to you this spring about a number of programs and projects that are currently underway on campus. These new initiatives are designed to provide our students with intellectually and personally enriching educational experiences during their time with us. Indeed, the tumultuous nature of our current national landscape magnifies the importance and value of a liberal arts education that helps students to become thoughtful, critical thinkers and effective communicators.

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, tuition and fees will increase next year by $1,506, which is a 3.6% increase. As always, we stand ready to work closely with our students and their families to assist with individual financial challenges. Part of the tuition increase for next year includes a $260 technology fee that will afford access to a faster, more stable network on campus and to a 24-hour help desk. In addition, students will be able to register up to five devices on campus and enjoy expanded cable channel offerings.

Our academic program continues to attract outstanding new faculty members who inspire students within and outside the classroom.

  • We have hired five full-time faculty members in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and Political Science. Not only have they earned their degrees from prestigious institutions, but they also understand and embrace the value of teaching undergraduate students in a liberal arts setting.
  • This past winter term International Education offered three study abroad programs to Cuba. Other international Winter Term destinations included Belize, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, England, India, Nepal, and Roatan.
  • Eckerd College has become a Peace Corps Prep College Partner. Students who successfully complete this program (which includes courses that focus on leadership training, service-learning and cross-cultural encounters) will earn a certificate and gain an advantage when applying to the Peace Corps and other international development organizations and for international scholarships.
  • Construction on the Visual Arts Center continues and is expected to be completed by Fall 2017. This 33,000 square-foot building will house our sculpture, printmaking, painting, drawing, digital arts, and photography programs–along with gallery space, faculty offices and classrooms. This state-of-the-art Center will complement the James Center of Molecular Life Sciences as a testament to the College’s commitment to both the arts and sciences as necessary to an excellent undergraduate education.

In line with our desire to provide students with the most talented professors, inspiring research opportunities, fulfilling internships, and enriching study abroad opportunities, we also support their co-curricular and residential experience with quality facilities and services.

  • Construction of a student lounge in the Iota Complex was completed last spring. This beautiful lounge provides a much needed gathering space for the residents and facilitates student learning and engagement.
  • As a part of our continuing plan to renovate the seven legacy residence houses, we will renovate the fourth and fifth complexes (Alpha and Kappa) this summer. The renovated houses will be completed in time for students to move in this fall.
  • During Fall 2016, enhancements in the Sigma/West Lodge areas were completed, including the installation of a patio at Sigma.
  • The expansion of our Career Services programming and staffing continues. In February, we appointed a new Director of Internships and Employer Relations to develop, implement, and oversee a comprehensive internship program for our students.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide our students with an exceptional education that teaches them to think critically and creatively about the places, people, and challenges they encounter. I am pleased and proud that you and your student have chosen Eckerd College—a superb environment for the development of reflective, self-directed, and responsible graduates who will be well-prepared for a productive and purposeful life.

All best wishes,

Donald R. Eastman III

President Eastman