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I am pleased to report that 2006 has been a year of tremendous growth and forward momentum for Hofstra University. It was a year that saw exceptionally qualified students enroll at the University, many of our faculty recognized nationally for their work, the introduction of innovative new academic programs, and the opening of a new academic building on the south campus. In an effort to continue that momentum, we launched a $100 million Capital Campaign, only the second campaign in our history, with the goal of substantially strengthening the financial condition of the University and enabling us to provide scholarships and additional resources to our students and faculty.
This past year also marked my fifth year as president of Hofstra. Thanks to the support of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the Alumni Organization and the entire Hofstra community, the past five years have been characterized by progress at all levels of the University. The academic credentials of incoming students have shown dramatic improvement since 2000, in terms of both average SAT scores and average GPAs. We have added new faculty lines and academic programs and enhanced Honors College, a program for high-performing students. There are new and renovated academic buildings on campus, many of which put the University on the leading edge technologically. In addition, we have doubled Hofstra's endowment in five years to more than $200 million.
If we are to become an even better institution of higher learning, one that is recognized nationally as among the very best by students, faculty and peers, then we must continue to transform and improve our University. Accordingly, our senior management team, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, faculty, students and alumni, instituted a five-year plan that has among its goals enhancing the academic quality and racial and geographic diversity of entering students; providing our students and faculty with cutting-edge technology; improving our physical facilities; attracting and retaining top faculty; promoting Hofstra in new and different ways; and working even more closely with the surrounding community. As you read through this annual report, you will find that in 2006 we made significant progress toward these goals.
Let me assure you that our achievements have not gone unnoticed in the world beyond our Long Island campus. Both nationally and internationally, Hofstra is increasingly recognized as a university on the rise. And for the second consecutive year, nearly half of our first-year students came from out of state.
Even given the developments of previous years, or maybe because of them, 2006 was an outstanding year. Following are some of the year's highlights.
An increasingly accomplished student body
The academic credentials of incoming students continued to improve with the Class of 2010. The average SAT score of first-year students in 2006 was 1169, up an unprecedented 18 points over the previous year, despite a nationwide trend toward lower SAT scores. This places the scores of incoming freshmen at the 75th percentile of all test takers, compared with just above the 50th percentile in 2000. Our selectivity, or the percentage of students we accept, is roughly 62 percent, the same as last year, but up from 80 percent in 2000. Honors College enrolled 163 students, up from 136 the previous year, with an average SAT score of 1316.
Improving the academic standing of each entering class has been a priority of my administration. Seeing average SAT scores rise at Hofstra in a year when they fell nationwide indicates the increased prestige of the University, as is attracting students from a wider geographic area.
New academic offerings
The academic programs at Hofstra are constantly evolving to meet the needs of students and to reflect the ever-changing disciplines we teach. In 2006 we offered, for the first time, undergraduate majors in religion and forensic science and enrolled our first class in the Legal Education Accelerated Program (LEAP), a program that allows students to earn both a B.A. and J.D. in six years (one year fewer than usual).
We also introduced an innovative M.B.A. in Sports and Entertainment Management, which is a collaboration between the Zarb School of Business and the School of Communication, as well as new graduate degree programs in journalism, law, physician assistant studies, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and other areas. New College and the School for University Studies (SUS) substantially revitalized their curricula.
Honors for our faculty; new faces on campus
This was an exceptional year for Hofstra's faculty. Their many achievements and awards included the National Conference for the Social Studies 2006 prize for the slavery curriculum awarded to School of Education and Allied Human Services Professors Alan Singer and Mary Carter. Carolyn Dudek, in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was awarded a Fulbright Fellow grant to research in Argentina; Philip Lopate was inducted into the National Academy of Arts and Sciences; and Greg Levine was appointed a KITP (Kalvi Institute for Theoretical Physics) Scholar for 2004-2006, which represents a major recognition for a scientist specializing in condensed matter physics. Matthew Sonfield of the Zarb School of Business was elected dean of fellows of the Small Business Institute.
After an extensive national search, Salvatore F. Sodano '77, '83 was named dean of the Zarb School of Business. Dean Sodano is the former head of the American Stock Exchange and vice chairman of the National Association of Securities Dealers. Maureen Murphy was reappointed acting dean of the School of Education and Allied Human Services.
We also completed our search for nationally known scholars to fill two newly endowed chairs. Dr. Meena Bose, former director of American politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, now holds the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies and leads the new Center for the Study of the American Presidency. Dr. Julie Elizabeth Byrne from Duke University holds the Msgr. Thomas J. Hartman Chair in Catholic Studies.
Building, renovating, improving our campus
If you have visited campus in the past year, you've undoubtedly noticed the changing face of our University. The New Academic Building on the south campus was completed in time for fall classes. An architecturally distinct, modern building, the new facility houses a black box theater, orchestra rehearsal spaces for the Music Department, as well as faculty offices and seminar rooms. Renovation of the main floor of the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library was also completed in the fall. The renovations resulted in a light-filled, welcoming space that features increased wireless access, new furniture, and a coffee bar.
In November construction started on a third pedestrian bridge, which will span Hempstead Turnpike at Oak Street. This span will provide safe access between the north and south campuses.
We also broke ground for a new residence hall on the north campus, which will house graduate and law students, and allow us to continue to attract students from across the country and around the world to the Hofstra campus.
Capturing our image; telling our story
To bring Hofstra's evolving identity into clearer focus, the University launched a new branding campaign. Characterized by bold colors, strong graphics, and the slogan "Find Your Edge," the new image is designed to reflect the dynamic, success-oriented Hofstra community. Launched September 1, the branding campaign encompasses the University's advertising, Web site, video, publications and brochures, posters and multimedia. Hofstra alumni, students, faculty and staff all were consulted in the development of the brand image.
This campaign clearly tells the story of our motivated, successoriented students, our dynamic campus and excellent resources.
Launching a capital campaign
In 2006 we launched a $100 million capital campaign known officially as "The Campaign for Hofstra University: Share the Pride. Shape the Future." The goal of the capital campaign, chaired by John D. Miller '79, chair of the Hofstra Board of Trustees, is to enable the University to increase scholarships, attract nationally known scholars to Hofstra, and continue to build the campus. Ultimately, it will help us to realize our goal of increased national and international stature. With more than $80 million pledged to date, we are well on our way to reaching these campaign goals.
Engaging our alumni
So much of our success in 2006 and over the past five years is due to the help and support of our alumni. Indeed, many of the largest gifts in our Capital Campaign have been from alumni, some of whom also serve as trustees for the University. These include Board of Trustees Chair John D. Miller '79, Sondra and David S. Mack '67, Niki and Joe Gregory '74, Peter S. Kalikow '65, '86, Alan Bernon '76, Joseph Shapiro '54, Perry Weitz '84, Marilyn Monter '76 and Wilfried Witthuhn, and Pat and Frank G. Zarb '57, '62.
We are, or course, grateful to all alumni who support Hofstra not only through our capital campaign, but also through The Fund for Hofstra University, by volunteering your time and talents to Hofstra, by supporting our athletic teams and by joining us at alumni gatherings around the country. It is in large part because of your dedication that Hofstra has grown beyond the institution it was on the day you received your diploma.
And as you read this letter, it should be a source of pride to you that two of New York state's highest officials are Hofstra alumni – Lt. Gov. David Paterson, a 1983 graduate of Hofstra Law School, who was our December commencement speaker, and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who earned a B.A. in history in 1976. Another successful alumnus, Morton Owen Schapiro '75, president of Williams College, addressed our May graduates.
Martin B. Greenberg '60, founder and chairman of the board of Sterling Commodities Corporation, joined our Board of Trustees last year, along with Tejinder (T.J.) Pal Singh Bindra, senior vice president of Jeetish Group of Companies. While Mr. Bindra is not an alumnus, he and his family, who had already established an endowed chair in Sikh studies, generously established the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize to recognize efforts around the world that increase interfaith dialogue.
We are also proud of the alumni we honored in 2006 at our Alumni Awards Dinner: David S. Mack '67, our Alumnus of the Year, for whom the Hofstra arena and public safety and information building were named last year; our Alumni Achievement Award recipients, Dr. Laurie Johnson (Ph.D. '85), a professor and graduate program director for the Department of Counseling, Research, Special Education and Rehabilitation and a 2005 Fulbright grant winner; David M. Katz '86, a partner in Sterling Equities and an owner and board member of the New York Mets, who last year made a generous pledge to the Hofstra Arboretum and The Fund for Hofstra University; Scott Masterson '77, senior vice president and general manager of Forbes, Inc.; and Joanne Minieri '82, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forest City Ratner Companies; and our Young Alumnus Award recipient, Jed R. Morey '02, a member of our first class of Hofstra's Executive M.B.A. program and CEO of The Morey Organization.
And while they did not receive their degrees from Hofstra, our Honorary Alumni of the Year have established close ties to our University. Gary Barth, a managing director of The Greenwich Group International, LLC, is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Hofstra Pride Club, which generates financial and fan support for the University's athletic program. Joseph D. Monticciolo, head of The Monticciolo Company in Woodbury, New York, has been a member of the Hofstra Advisory Board for more than 30 years and, along with his wife, established the Joseph and Mary Ann Monticciolo Endowed Scholarship.
As you read this annual report, I hope you share my pride in our achievements and in being part of the tremendous momentum that characterizes Hofstra University today.
Stuart Rabinowitz, President