Wilkes University is on a mission.
We are creating one of the finest small universities not just in our region, but in our nation. We want to offer all of the programs, activities, and opportunities of a large research university in the caring, mentoring, intimate environment of a small liberal arts college. From our research, we know this combination is unique. From our experience, we know it is special.
The most recent academic year — our 83rd as an institution of higher learning — advanced us toward this goal in numerous ways. We launched initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally. We innovated to expand access to education through online delivery, growing our graduate programming by nearly 25 percent in one year. We attracted the best undergraduate students ever to Wilkes through new academic programs, while staying true to our founding principles of providing educational opportunity for all qualified students. In fact, a full 50 percent of our undergraduate students during the past year were the first in their families to pursue a four-year college degree, and over 40 percent of them were eligible for Pell grants, which support students of highest financial need.
What started 83 years ago as Bucknell University Junior College has continued to evolve into a large master’s-level university with two colleges and four schools, offering 50 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s programs, and four doctoral (or terminal) degrees. While our faculty members remain first and foremost committed to teaching, they are also scholars, researchers, and entrepreneurs. More discovery is happening at Wilkes than ever before.
Over the past five years we have made $50 million in investments in our Wilkes-Barre campus, including the construction of the Cohen Science Center, the creation of a new home for our Sidhu School of Business & Leadership, the naming of the Passan School of Nursing and the consolidation of our nursing facilities into one building, and the development of our East Campus Gateway. In the next few years, we will spend an additional $30 million on our campus, including big investments in the arts (an expansion of the Sordoni Art Gallery and the consolidation of the Karambelas Communications Center), in the sciences (a total renovation of Stark Learning Center to accommodate an expansion of our engineering capabilities), in the campus (a South Campus Gateway to mimic our East Campus Gateway), and in athletics (a renovation and expansion of the Ralston Athletics Complex). Taken together, these projects will meet our decades-long dream of creating a first-class residential campus in the urban environment of Wilkes-Barre, transforming our living and learning environment in unprecedented ways.
There has never been a better time to be a student at Wilkes University. I invite you to see what Wilkes can offer you. Thank you for your interest.
Wilkes University President
Follow Dr. Leahy on Twitter: @patrickfleahy