Letter from the President

April 13, 2018

Dear Eckerd College Family,

This spring the campus celebrated the grand opening of the Helmar and Enole Nielsen Center for Visual Arts at Eckerd College. This 33,000 square-foot building houses our sculpture, printmaking, painting, drawing, digital arts, and photography programs–along with gallery space, faculty offices and classrooms. The completion of this Center complements the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences as a testament to the College’s commitment to both the arts and sciences as necessary to an excellent undergraduate education.

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 $1,496 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.

Writing this letter also affords me an opportunity to share with you 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.

Our academic program continues to attract 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: Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Psychology, and Human Development. 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:

  • Eckerd College is ranked #13 on the Peace Corps’ “Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities” list.
  • In a ranking of baccalaureate colleges, the Institute for International Education (IIE) 2017 Open Doors Report for the 2015–2016 academic year showed Eckerd College as No. 4 in the U.S. for students participating in short-term study abroad and No. 10 in the U.S. for total participation in study abroad.
  • Alumnus Neal Walker has returned to Eckerd as the new Diplomat in Residence following a distinguished 28-year career in the United Nations (UN). Mr. Walker’s work with the UN took him to Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and Ukraine. He currently directly manages the UN Development Program in Ukraine and leads the international humanitarian initiatives in that country.
  • Mark Tluszcz ’03, CEO of Mangrove Capital, Chairman of wix.com and original investorin Skype, will offer the commencement address during the College’s 55th Annual Commencement in May.

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.

  • This summer the renovation of the seven legacy houses will be completed. Gamma and Delta will receive new flooring, new bathrooms, and new interior doors. The Gamma Complex lounge also will be renovated.
  • A brick paver patio with lighting was installed at the Kappa Complex this fall to provide residents with enhanced outdoor gathering space.
  • Campus Safety is increasing the security of the perimeter of campus through the use of physical barriers like fences as well as the hiring of two additional off-duty St. Petersburg Police officers on the weekends who patrol the campus property lines, especially the northwest side of campus near the Palm Hammock and McArthur Gymnasium.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide our students with an exceptional education that teaches them to think critically and creatively. 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