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Office of the President
Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

local: (727) 864-8211
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
fax: (727) 864-1877

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President Donald R. Eastman III

Highlights of Achievements Since 2000

Noteworthy statistics about students and alumni

  • Applications to Eckerd College's residential program have increased 58%
  • Enrollment increased from 1530 to 1817 (Fall 2006)
  • 78% of the students live on campus (up from 68%)
  • Freshman-to-sophomore and overall retention increased 10%
  • 3801 students have graduated since 2000
  • Graduates in the Program of Experienced Learners: 1,439 (this is especially significant because most remain in our communities)
  • Eckerd students have provided about 55,000 hours of community service each year for the past several years
  • Alumni participation in the annual fund has increased from 15% to 36%

Scholarships received by our students since 2000

  • EPA Graduate Research Scholarships (STAR): 3
  • Fulbright Scholars: 7; two in the Class of 2006 (it's unusual to have 2 in one year)
  • Goldwater Scholars: 3
  • Hollings Scholars (in its second year): 9 (Eckerd College tops the list of total recipients among all US colleges and universities with its 9 recipients. In its first year, Eckerd College had 4 recipients; only two research universities had as many as 4.)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellows: 2
  • Rhodes Scholar Finalists: 1 national finalist and 2 regional finalists in the past two years
  • Rotary Foundation Scholars: 5
  • Truman Scholar: our first is a member of the Class of 2006
  • Udall Foundation Scholars: 4

Faculty Statistics

  • The student to faculty ratio has been held at 13:1.
  • The College has hired over 20 new tenure-track faculty over the past two years. We are successfully recruiting our first choices from prestigious institutions.

External (national) recognition of the academic program

  • A Phi Beta Kappa chapter was installed in 2003; Zeta, of Florida at Eckerd College is the only chapter on the west coast of Florida and there are only 6 institutions in Florida with chapters; in 2003, there were only 270 chapters in the country; PBK is the academic "gold seal" in undergraduate liberal arts education
  • Eckerd was named one of 13 "Institutions of Excellence in the First College Year" by the Policy Center on the First Year of College for the quality of the freshman year experience
  • In 2003 in a NAFSA Association of International Educators study reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Eckerd was ranked the #1 U.S. baccalaureate institution with the highest proportion of students who study abroad during their undergraduate careers According to the Institute of International Education's 2005 Open Doors Report (the most recent report), 94 percent of Eckerd's students studied abroad in 2003-04. Eckerd College ranks fourth on the list of Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions and is the only institution from Florida found in the top 20. One of Eckerd College's January Term 2005 study abroad courses took students to Antarctica; a color spread featuring Eckerd's program was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • The College received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support the establishment of a professorship in Chinese Language and Literature and a grant from the Freeman Foundation to support the College's Program in East Asian Studies.
  • In 2004 Eckerd College's lifelong learning program was designated an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; Eckerd College is 1 of 73 colleges nationwide known for exemplary lifelong learning programs.
  • Grants from the Kellogg Foundation have supported students engaged in service learning projects abroad.
  • Eckerd College continues to be included among the 40 Colleges That Change Lives (2006 edition) by Loren Pope, which was featured in Time magazine in Fall 2006.
  • Alumni continue to complete professional and graduate degree programs with competitive fellowships at prestigious institutions, and early- to late-career alumni are receiving national recognition for their professional work.

Distinctive New Programs Since 2000

  • The Florida Institute of Oceanography elected Eckerd College to membership, making it the only exclusively undergraduate member.
  • The Writers in Paradise annual conference/workshop was established in 2005 by alumni and novelists Dennis Lehane and Professor Sterling Watson. Keynote speaker and workshop leader in January 2006 was novelist Stephen King.
  • New majors in communication and interdisciplinary arts and a new minor in film studies were introduced in the last three years.

Community Service

  • Eckerd College was a charter institution and the first college to participate in the St. Petersburg Mayor's Mentors and More Program.
  • Eckerd College is a co-sponsor of the year-long roundtable discussion series started in 2005 at Studio@620 in downtown St. Petersburg. In this series, Tampa Bay community leaders discuss social justice issues affecting our community.
  • Through The Center for Career Planning and Applied Learning, and with support from Progress Energy and the Mayor's Office of St. Petersburg, since 2005 the College has been engaged in providing Eckerd student interns as resource persons and consultants for small businesses in the Midtown area. This project has been commended publicly by the City of St. Petersburg Mayor's Office, Progress Energy, and Midtown business owners.

Financial Milestones

  • The College has achieved balanced budgets leading to a surplus in operations in each of the last five years.
  • The College Landings development and the College Harbor congregate care facilities were sold.
  • Recent major gift announcements: $25m Miles and Parker Collier Challenge Gift; $1M Tom and Mary James gift to endow the James Professorship in Finance.

Campus Construction

  • The College has invested over $32M in new construction and renovation projects between 2002 and 2006
  • Refurbished at $750,000 our teaching auditorium to become the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium, home of the International Cinema Series and other film festivals at Eckerd College
  • The Armacost Library was dedicated in 2005, a $15-million project
  • Campus dining facilities and fitness areas were renovated, along with more than a dozen classrooms and offices
  • First-class athletic fields and tennis courts were constructed
  • A $450,000 outdoor dining pavilion was added to the cafeteria
  • $3M+ for technology included upgrades to all classrooms, the library and desktop computers
  • A $31.4 million bond issue was secured May 2006
  • An $11 million, 145-bed new residence hall opened in September 2006
  • A $1 million chapel renovation is underway