CNR PRESIDENT STEPHEN J. SWEENY RESPONDS
TO CLOSURE OF MARYMOUNT COLLEGE OF TARRYTOWN
The reminder in The
Journal News (August 31, 2007) of the closure
of Marymount College of Tarrytown was greeted with a renewed sense of
and regret at The College of New Rochelle. American higher education is
for the loss of one more women’s college because of declining
and with it another long and successful institutional journey in
women with a liberal arts higher education has ended.
The reality of modern
has taught us there must be a critical mass of students to have the
sophisticated courses and services of a modern college education. It is
therefore, in today’s economic environment to provide the small,
traditional all-women’s college, while at the same time giving women
access to the facilities and opportunities larger campuses and
schools might offer.
Many women’s colleges have
forced to close or merge with larger coeducational institutions to
to survive, giving up their single-sex identity. We understand and
with this reality of life.
The College of New
first Catholic College for women in New York State, however, four
ago charted a different course in our development as an institution.
the demands of the new demographics affecting higher education, CNR
several steps in the late 1960s and early 1970s to ensure that it would
be able to continue its undergraduate, all-women School of Arts &
In 1969, we created the
School, and in 1972, established the School of New Resources, a liberal
degree program for adult learners, drawing our students, both female
male, from diverse communities that have traditionally not had the
for a college degree. In 1976, we opened a co-ed School of Nursing for
and graduate students. Now CNR maintains a total enrollment of over
students, while continuing to nurture our all-women school.
Why is The College of New
so committed to single-sex education? Simply because we believe women’s
are unique and necessary. They place women at the center of the
experience, developing their intellectual, spiritual and professional
while connecting them into a network of women that will serve them well
most of their professional and personal lives. This is our bedrock and
belief, and this year, in May of 2007, The College of New Rochelle
its 100th Commencement ceremonies.
Here at CNR we are adding
legacy by continuing our building program, and enhancing the facilities
offer to all our students. In 2002 we renovated our historic Mother
Gill Library, making it a state-of-the art educational resource center
campus. This coming winter we will dedicate the multi-million dollar
Center, housing state-of-the-art athletic and fitness facilities as
as providing the locus for innovative preventative health care
CNR’s core elements -- commitment to the education of women, the
of liberal arts, an environment honoring the rich Catholic
moral, social justice tradition, a community composed of diverse
who are being educated for service and professional careers -- make us
necessarily unique but secure in our identity.
We know who we are and what
are achieving in higher education. This is our greatest strength. And
fall we add to that strength by opening our campus doors to better and
students who have selected The College of New Rochelle as their partner
This commitment to women is
only our history; it is our vision for the 21st century. Institutions
continue to uphold the tradition of women’s education and uniquely
women for the many roles they will assume in life are more necessary
relevant than ever. We salute their achievement and are justly
to be among them as we begin our 104th year serving the nation and the
with strength and vitality.
Stephen J. Sweeny, Ph.D.
The College of New Rochelle