LC in the News - 2006
Lackawanna College Remains Committed to Progress
By: Raymond Angeli
When Lackawanna College relocated its main campus to downtown Scranton 10 years ago, we approached the occasion with a sense of optimism. We expected good things for our College and for the community that we had served for over 100 years. August 29, 1996, the day we reopened the former Central High School as our main campus building, represented a triumph several years in the making.
We were happy with our accomplishment and felt we could bask in the warm glow for a while. Well, we quickly found out there would be no time for basking. Lackawanna College’s past proved just a prelude to the remarkable spurt of growth and development that took place from that inaugural event to the present day.
In that period, the College doubled its enrollment and dramatically expanded its academic offerings. In addition, we fashioned a multi-building main campus complex; opened the Theater, an elegant regional performing arts center; built the College’s first two dormitories; transformed the former Catholic Youth Center into a Student Union with student facilities, a fitness center, and a new indoor athletic court; created an Environmental Institute in Covington Township for teaching and research purposes; moved into new expanded facilities in Towanda; and enhanced our role throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.
While doing all of this, the College still has managed to keep tuition reasonable, added to the diversity of the student body, provided one-on-one mentoring to at-risk students, and increasingly served the needs of older, non-traditional students. Lackawanna’s Decade of Progress brought the College to a new level of excellence.
That's an enormous jump in a very short period of time. Why? Clearly, the answer lies in the tremendous unmet need for higher education that exists in this region. People have come to recognize that education is the key to opportunity. Everyday the workplace is demanding greater skills and backgrounds of those who are entering. In rapid fashion, computers have revolutionized the office and plant. Information availability has exploded. Technology has expanded at an unheard of pace. For better or for worse, times have changed and the individual now must find ways to adapt to those changes.
Education provides the means for most people. Today, education must be a lifelong commitment. The residents of Northeast Pennsylvania are perceptive enough to understand this and sensible enough to capitalize on the opportunities available to them. Thus, Lackawanna College has answered their call and been heartily embraced by this region.
We have accomplished our progress with the enormous assistance of governmental grants, generous donors, forward-looking businesses and a supportive community. On its own, Lackawanna College could not have accomplished so much.
And we are not through!
Lackawanna has created a strategic plan for the future, a blueprint of where we want to go and how we hope to get there. This vision has identified key areas for development and expansion. Among other goals, we are looking to increase our presence in Wayne County and establish a new center in Susquehanna County. Soon, we will launch a capital campaign to address the requirements of the next decade. Population shifts, increasing diversity, a growing technological economy, a pressing need for job retraining and an increased demand for higher education require Lackawanna College to move ahead to fulfill its role.
We can promise you that our College will not stand still. Society changes, students change, needs change. Lackawanna College will continue to change with them.
RAYMOND ANGELI has been President of Lackawanna College since 1994. This article ran in the Scranton Times-Tribune.