Carillon magazine, Fall 2016

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FALL 2016

Forging New Pathways


Now fully operational, Gables Brookhaven residential complex features 6,000 square feet of innovative classroom space and a convenient on-campus luxury living option for students – all while significantly growing Oglethorpe’s endowment. See page 17.


4 10 13 14 17

COLLEGE COSTS: THE REST OF THE STORY Most institutions that stand a chance of thriving over the next decade bring something unique to the table. Those that don’t will need to come up with something, and fast.

PRIVATE VS. PUBLIC: DOING THE MATH It’s a common misconception that the Hope Scholarship can only be used to attend a public institution in Georgia. Oglethorpe also awards more than $15M in scholarships every year, with 98% of its students receiving some form of financial aid.

THE BOTTOM LINE Take a look at lowest average student loan debt per borrower, and Oglethorpe demonstrates impressive value in the U.S. and Georgia, in comparison to both private universities and public institutions.

EARNING AN ‘A’ IN DIVERSITY Socio-economic, ethnic, and geographic diversity and overall level of tolerance on campus puts OU among most diverse colleges in U.S.

IN WITH THE NEW, PRESERVING THE OLD “Forward thinking” strategy is a win-win for Oglethorpe’s historic campus and student housing.

18 21 22 26 30

MAKING OGLETHORPE FUNDRAISING HISTORY This year, there was record-breaking giving to the Annual Fund and the Our Time Campaign officially wrapped with the largest single fundraising total in university history.

GRANTS TO GREEN Thanks to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Southface, we’ve taken the first step toward greater on-campus energy efficiency.

EVOLUTION OF A SCIENCE STUDENT Recent grad Mounica Kota ’16 made every moment count while a student at Oglethorpe—on campus, out in Atlanta, and around the world.

WELCOME TO OGLE-WOOD! Oglethorpe and its students take the spotlight in Georgia’s growing film industry—the third largest in the U.S.

GO GLOBAL With our passport now stamped for Barcelona, next stop is London in 2017!


BY PRESIDENT LAWRENCE SCHALL Adapted from an article originally published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.




rowing up, I was a huge fan of talk radio. One of the voices I remember quite fondly from my childhood was that of Paul Harvey, whose program The Rest of the Story would present the little-known facts of an otherwise well-known story. As the president of a small, private university, I pay close attention to media reports of the rising cost of college and recognize there is so much of the story that remains untold.

While dramatic increases in the sticker price of college makes for exciting sound bites, there is more to this story than meets the eye.

The College Board recently published a new report, Trends in College Pricing. Most of the data presented throughout the report focuses on published tuition trends. While dramatic increases in the sticker price of college makes for exciting sound bites, there is more to this story than meets the eye. In 2004-05, while the average published tuition and fee price of 4-year private nonprofit colleges was $25,000, the net price (what the average student actually paid after institutional scholarships, grants and discounts) was less than $15,000. Ten years later, in 2014-15, while the sticker price had risen to $31,000 (an increase of 24% over ten years), the net cost had decreased to $12,000. Yes, you read that right. The actual cost the average student paid to attend a private nonprofit college has actually gone down over the last decade-by 21%! I’ve been president of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta for almost a decade. Despite the narrative of rich private colleges getting richer at the expense of middle class families, the reality is that most private colleges in America look a lot more like Oglethorpe than Princeton or Harvard. In 2014, our net tuition was just over $12,500 per student, close to the national average.


Most institutions that stand a chance of thriving bring something unique to the table. Oglethorpe is blessed with a beautiful campus in the dynamic and growing city of Atlanta, which is a hotbed of experiential learning opportunities.


don’t worry much about the top fifty or one hundred institutions; ten years from now, they will all still be among the top fifty or one hundred. Collectively, however, they educate a very small slice of this country’s students. The real question concerns the economic survival of the rest of us who together educate many, many more times the number of students (and often students who come from less privileged circumstances). One solution is recognition by federal and state governments that higher education is an investment they ought to be making on behalf of young people and our society as a whole. President’s Obama’s recent proposal regarding community college financing is one promising idea. That kind of investment is happening in almost every other country in the world, but here at home, we have actually been dis-investing from education. It’s hard to imagine this strategy will turn out very well, but we certainly seem committed to it. So, if that’s not in the cards, what other positive solutions can I offer?


At Oglethorpe, we are addressing these challenges in two ways. The first is focusing on our core enterprise and unique value proposition. Most institutions that stand a chance of thriving bring something unique to the table. Oglethorpe is blessed with a beautiful campus in the dynamic and growing city of Atlanta, which is a hotbed of experiential learning opportunities. We have used this to our advantage and seen enrollment growth ten years running. But even an excellent manifestation of your differentiating principle is not likely to provide sufficient ballast for institutions lacking a large endowment. In order to thrive, most schools will need to create additional routes to supplement their core business. We have pursued three such strategies at Oglethorpe. All three have rapidly achieved significant scale through the formation of partnerships. In the fall of 2012, Oglethorpe partnered with the world’s largest language learning provider to open an English language institute on our campus, designed to attract college age students from across the world to Atlanta. The program has grown from seven students in October, 2012 to 260 in the fall of 2014.*

At the same time as this venture began, we opened a new study abroad program through a second partnership. In the summer of 2014, over 200 students from more than thirty different universities enrolled in an Oglethorpe-branded study abroad program. These students are taking Oglethorpe-designed courses, taught by Oglethorpe faculty. Between these two programs, Oglethorpe’s identity as a global university has grown and our bottom line has improved by well over one million dollars. The third partnership is of a different nature, but also with an external partner-a joint real estate development deal that has accomplished two goals of the university: endowment growth and expansion of our on-campus housing stock. The university has entered into a long-term land lease with a private developer who is building 340 distinctive apartments on the edge of our campus. The partner we selected through this process not only contributed an up-front fee that served to grow our endowment by more than 50%, but also made significant improvements to the campus, including a new classroom building.

Of course, there are as many different solutions to the problem of stagnant or even declining net tuition revenue as there are colleges and universities. But I’d suggest that one thing these solutions will have in common is an entrepreneurial approach that expands the definition of who we are as institutions and what we do. Net/net, it’s both an educational and a survival strategy. To echo Paul Harvey, “and that’s the rest of the story.” *Editor’s update: At the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, EF (Education First) decided to close its Atlanta location and consolidate their U.S. operations due to global uncertainty. Having EF on campus for three years had a tremendous, long-term financial impact. EF funded extensive renovations to the basement levels of Hearst and Robinson Halls. EF’s University Transition Program, which helps international students adapt to college in the U.S., continues to funnel new students to Oglethorpe. Revenue from the EF partnership has helped Oglethorpe’s overall financial position. And, EF helped to establish Oglethorpe as a desirable place to do business. On the next page, read about Oglethorpe’s newest on-campus partner, The Piedmont School of Atlanta.

Private Nonprofit College Tuition 2004–2013 ACTUAL PRICE

















THE PIEDMONT SCHOOL OF ATLANTA RELOCATES TO OGLETHORPE By Renee Vary The Piedmont School of Atlanta, which serves high-achieving children with autism and other learning and social challenges, relocated to Oglethorpe’s campus this summer. The school has leased dedicated classroom space on the garden level of Oglethorpe’s Hearst Hall. The Piedmont School of Atlanta provides students in kindergarten through ninth grade with an education that addresses their academic potential and social and emotional needs. The curriculum focuses on academic, social, vocational, and life skills, preparing student to recognize and assume their responsibilities to themselves and to their communities. An outgrowth of the Early Intervention Program of the Marcus Autism Center, the School is a collaboration of parents who wish to provide children with autism a comprehensive education addressing current needs and anticipating future options.


The partnership will offer convenient volunteer and internship opportunities for Oglethorpe students, which in turn will benefit the children at the Piedmont School. Several Oglethorpe psychology and communication majors have interned previously with the School. One Oglethorpe intern helped to launch and staff their afterschool program. “The Piedmont School is thrilled to move to the Oglethorpe campus and the beautiful learning environment it will provide for our students,” said Dr. Catherine Trapani, head of school for The Piedmont School. “I envision Oglethorpe students serving as role models to the children of the Piedmont School, inspiring academic achievement and commitment to education.”

Fall 2016 exhibitions on view at OUMA: Otto Neumann: Selections from the Rothschild Collection Featuring more than 100 drawings, watercolors, and prints by German Expressionist Otto Neumann, a gentile who refused to divorce his Jewish wife Hilde Rothchild and who lived with the constant strain of the political climate in Munich in the 30s, his own depression and the mental illness of his daughter. His circumstance was fodder for incredible artwork, including his depictions of Dante Alghieri’s Divine Comedy, Greek myths, and tender and beautiful drawing and paintings of his wife and daughter. This exhibit is a window into the evolving style of an artist from early Impressionist influences to Abstraction. The International Rescue Committee Flight Portfolio Featuring a portfolio of 12 hors d’commerce deluxe edition lithographs and serigraphs by artists such as Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Adolph Gottlieb, Joan Miro, and Robert Motherwell. This set was created in the late 1960s to early 1970s at the behest of Varian Fry, the founder of the International Rescue Committee and someone often called the “American Schindler.” Fry was instrumental in finding safe passage for thousands, including many celebrated artists and writers.

Eugene Berman, Untitled, Rome 1967 Printer: Bulla, Lithograph in five colors Paper/Deluxe Edition: Fabriano Special, 25 1/4” x 19 1/2” Deluxe Edition of Flight Portfolio, 1971. Courtesy of the International Rescue Committee, Atlanta

Visit to learn more about future exhibitions. Otto Neumann, Self Portrait, c. 1930s, watercolor, 24 1’2” x 17 5/8”, Estate stamped Nachlass Otto Neumann München #011053. The Rothschild Family Collection.


Private vs. Public: Doing the Math By J. Todd Bennett

Oglethorpe awards more than $15 million in scholarships every year.


Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You’re having a conversation and the subject of choosing a college comes up. You suggest Oglethorpe University and talk about the great professors, the small classes and the beautiful campus. The response? “I wish we could afford it, but we’re only looking at big state schools because we have the Hope Scholarship.” End of conversation. Or is it? The Georgia Hope Scholarship was introduced in 1993 as an incentive to keep academically talented students in the state and provide those academically superior students who couldn’t afford a college education access to higher education. Students who met certain GPA requirements could qualify for scholarships that covered 90-100% of their in-state tuition as well as books and fees. A smaller grant was available to students attending Georgia private schools. Since its inception, over $6.4 billion in HOPE funds have been awarded to more than 1.5 million students. However, recent changes to the program have resulted in more stringent academic requirements and funding for books and fees has been eliminated. From 2010 to 2015, Georgia public university tuition has risen 48%, coupled with rising room and board costs and thousands of dollars in new mandatory fees. The Hope Scholarship has not kept pace and families now face significantly higher costs to attend a state university in Georgia.

Because of its early success, the Hope Scholarship has maintained a strong reputation and many families continue to believe that with Hope, a Georgia state school is nearly free. While far from free, on the surface it still looks like a public education is significantly cheaper than a private Oglethorpe education. A quick comparison of the tuition “sticker price” between the University of Georgia, for example, and Oglethorpe would seem to support that notion, with Oglethorpe’s published tuition rate more than three and a half times that of UGA. DO THE MATH

Since 2011, all institutions that receive money from federal aid

programs are required by law to post a net price calculator on their websites to help students estimate what they will actually pay for college after grants and scholarships. While these calculators only provide estimates, they do prove to be helpful in dispelling the myth that private colleges are not affordable. In fact, entering identical figures for the average Oglethorpe student on the net price calculators for both OU and UGA estimates a difference of as little as $2,231 between the two schools for an academic year—a far cry from the $20,000+ differential in published costs of attendance. How is this possible? Oglethorpe awards more than $15,000,000 in scholarships every year. In fact, 98% of its students receive some form of financial aid. HOPE, DOUBLED.

In a recent survey of first-year Oglethorpe students, 89% responded that the net price of college was the most important factor in deciding where to attend. How does Oglethorpe convince these students, whose first concern is cost, to attend OU over a state school alternative they perceive to be “free to attend” because of the Hope scholarship? You begin by debunking the myths, starting with Hope. It’s a common misconception that the Hope scholarship can only be used to attend a public institution in Georgia. For those families, private colleges are ruled out before they ever consider them. So this past year, Oglethorpe tried a new recruitment strategy, putting the Hope scholarship front and center.

“We knew that we were losing a number of highly qualified students to UGA and other state schools because of the Hope scholarship, so we decided to make this work to our advantage,” explained Lucy Leusch, vice president for admission and financial aid. She and her team began to not only emphasize Hope when speaking with prospective students and parents, but to sweeten the pot by matching the Hope scholarship dollar for dollar— providing students with “Double Hope”. That strategy proved to be a resounding success. “We are thrilled with the results of our strategy to match the HOPE Scholarship for

eligible Georgia residents,” she said, adding that “this year we increased the enrollment of HOPE eligible students by 23%, or an additional 35 students, and realized $271,000 in additional tuition revenue. In addition, SAT scores for Georgia students increased nearly 20 points.” Georgia residents aren’t the only ones to benefit from the new scholarship match. Students graduating from high schools in contiguous states who qualify for similar programs in their state receive a $3,500 Oglethorpe grant in addition to any scholarships they may receive

$33,520 vs.$11,622 (OU) (UGA) Oglethorpe Tuition & fees Room & Board Books & Supplies Personal & transportation Total estimated cost of attendance Total scholarship and grant range

$33,520 $12,180 $ 1,100 $ 2,750 $49,550

University of Georgia Tuition & fees Room & board Books & supplies Personal & transportation Total estimated cost of attendance

$11,622 $ 9,450 $ 840 $ 3,222 $25,134

$29,200 – $35,200

Estimated net price range: $14,350 – Estimated net price: $20,350


Difference = $2,231



98% 90% 385 of our students receive aid

receive need-based aid

Georgia Hope Scholars

80% $1,900,000 receive OU merit scholarships

Oglethorpe offers a great education at a great value.

OU students received from the State of GA this year


Minimum OU grant just for completing the FAFSA


competitive full-time scholarships awarded annually


According government data from the new college scorecard, Oglethorpe grads can expect to earn higher than the national average of their counterparts at other institutions. But paying for all four years of college and getting a job to pay back student loans after they graduate worries many of our students. To help alleviate their concerns and to ensure lifelong financial success, Oglethorpe has partnered with the nonprofit organization Salt to provide free money management courses, planning tools and advice for students


and alumni, starting in their first semester at Oglethorpe. Expert help with student loan repayment options, personal loan counseling, online financial education courses (like budgeting), scholarship searches for undergrad or grad school, educational videos and financial quizzes are now available 24/7 at no cost for all Oglethorpe students, alumni, faculty and staff. To learn more and sign up for your free account, visit saltmoney. org/oglethorpe.

SOMETIMES, A RELATIVELY SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY means the difference between a student completing her OU education or leaving. In 2014, the Oglethorpe Board of Trustees recognized this and stepped up to create the Oglethorpe Emergency Assistance Fund. Subsequently, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has contributed additional funds, allowing the university to help 33 students continue at Oglethorpe with an average grant of $1,800. In just over one year, the fund has awarded nearly $60,000 to students in need. To learn about how you can contribute, visit

OGLETHORPE AMONG COLLEGES NATIONWIDE WITH LOWEST AVERAGE STUDENT LOAN DEBT Among Georgia schools evaluated, Oglethorpe is second lowest in the state

O By Renee Vary

glethorpe is among colleges nationwide with the lowest average student loan debt per borrower for the Class of 2015, according to LendEDU, a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance. “Oglethorpe University was ranked 196 out of 1,300 colleges nationwide for the lowest student loan debt

per borrower,” said Alex Coleman, director of business development at LendEDU. “In other words, we found that Oglethorpe University is giving students a very low amount of student debt at graduation.” Nationwide, the average Class of 2015 graduate has approximately $28,400 in student loan debt. With an average of $23,212 per borrower, Oglethorpe is #196 nationwide, but #99 in the U.S. among private universities. Of the 250 colleges with the lowest amount of student loan debt per borrower, 51% of the institutions were public. Of the 250 colleges with the highest amount of student loan debt per borrower, 82% of the institutions were private. Oglethorpe not only ranks well nationally, but also demonstrates impressive value in Georgia, in comparison to both private universities and public institutions. Among the Georgia schools evaluated, Oglethorpe came in second lowest in the state, where the average loan debt per borrower is $27,043. OU

graduates have lower debt than those from Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Emory University, Agnes Scott College, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Georgia Institute of Technology, Berry College, and others. Compare average student loan debt for 2015 graduates of Oglethorpe, a private university, and those of the public University of Georgia, and the difference is only just over $1000. LendEDU’s Student Loan Debt By School By State Report was created using the newest licensed Peterson’s financial aid data. Peterson’s released the fresh data for the Class of 2015 at the start of August 2016. LendEDU is the first organization to aggregate and analyze this data for the Class of 2015. In the report, the nation’s colleges and universities are ranked to see which schools are giving graduates the most, and the least, amount of student loan debt. To learn more, visit and


CLASS OF 2020 In fall 2016, Oglethorpe University


N By Renee Vary has ranked Oglethorpe University among the most diverse colleges in Georgia— and in the country—topping Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Kennesaw State University. Earning an “A” in diversity, Oglethorpe was listed in the top five Georgia colleges and 66th nationally, of the 1713 U.S. colleges evaluated and based on the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. The Most Diverse Colleges ranking, according to, provides a comprehensive assessment of the socio-economic, ethnic, and


geographic diversity and overall level of tolerance on campus. This grade takes into account key factors such as student and faculty ethnicity, proportion of international students, and student reviews in an attempt to measure the scope and culture of diversity on campus.

What helped Oglethorpe to earn this distinction?

35% students of color 59% women 41% men 32 states represented 38 countries represented 91% receive need-based aid Niche was founded in 2002 by Carnegie Mellon University students as Niche aims to provide students, families, and professionals with “deep insight into big life decisions.”

welcomed 430 new students, including a record freshman class of 332 students, a three percent increase over the previous class. The top five majors selected by freshman also reflect the overall most popular majors at Oglethorpe: Biology, Business, Engineering-Dual Degree, Psychology, and Communication and Rhetoric Studies. Keeping on a growth trend, more than 36% of freshmen are student-athletes, who compete on Oglethorpe’s 16 athletic teams. This represents a three percent increase over last year’s class.


1185 Total Enrollment 15:1 Student/Faculty Ratio 17 Average Class Size 32 States Represented 38 Countries Represented 43% Male 57% Female 9% International 15% Greek 25% Student-Athletes Oglethorpe continues to be ranked among the nation’s best colleges by U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and Washington Monthly. In 2015, FORBES named Oglethorpe among America’s Most Entrepreneurial Colleges.


CLASS OF 2015 By Amy Clemente At Oglethorpe University, we work with our students on career exploration and development beginning as early as their first year. By engaging in this process early, students have the opportunity to explore how their liberal arts education will prepare them for a satisfying and productive life after Oglethorpe.


With 98% of our graduating class participating in the survey, we know approximately 85.5% of the class is employed or in graduate school. (62.24% employed, 23.5% is enrolled in graduate school).



Our graduates reside in 11 states and six countries



of graduates say their Oglethorpe education has prepared them to communicate effectively.


of graduates say their Oglethorpe education has prepared them to think critically.


of graduates say their Oglethorpe education has prepared them to reason effectively.




Puerto Rico

South Korea


United Kingdom






Starting in 2015, we began to survey recent graduates using The Outcomes Survey. Our graduates were asked to update their career outcome information at 3 additional timeframes: after 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Please find the additional final highlights from the survey below.




of graduates completed an internship during their time at OU


of students say their internship prepared them for their career


of students made plans 3 months or more prior to graduation

WHAT DO OUR GRADUATES DO? The top six career fields for the Class of 2015 are:








of graduates say they are satisfied with their post-grad occupation.


of graduates say their post-grad occupation is related to their career goals.


of graduates say their post-grad occupation is related to their area of study.


of graduates are employed by an organization.



PETREL PROMISE Oglethorpe guarantees that students will… Graduate in four years, get a job or grad school admission within six months, or the fifth year is on us. What is “The Petrel Promise”? Launched during the 2015-2016 academic year, the Petrel Promise is a guarantee from Oglethorpe to its students. Oglethorpe promises that students will: • graduate within four years or pay no tuition for credits needed to graduate in five years • secure full-time employment or admission into a graduate school within six months of graduation, or return for a full year tuition-free To be eligible, students must meet a list of criteria, including: • Begin their college career, seeking their first bachelor’s degree and enrolled full time, at Oglethorpe beginning in fall 2016 or later (transfers are not eligible). • Maintain academic good standing and make satisfactory academic progress each year. • Take responsibility for knowing degree and major requirements. • Have officially declared their major by the time of fall registration (registering for spring classes) for their sophomore year. • Complete an average of 32 semester hours each year (summers included). • Earn minimum grades in courses to meet published program requirements for course progression. Read all criteria for eligibility and more about the Petrel Promise at


The Hub for Enrollment Services is a new one-stop shop for all student enrollment needs, including financial aid, registration, billing and academic records. In a visit to a single location, students can now apply for aid, browse scholarships, pay bills, request a transcript and more in a more welcoming and accessible space. Located in the garden level of Lupton Hall, the Hub was conceived and developed to streamline the student enrollment experience by offering simplified processes, improved customer service, and decreased wait time (and stress!) for students. It also allows for greater staff efficiency and cross-training and strives to prevent administrative barriers from interfering with student success. For more information, visit


“Forward thinking” strategy a win-win


n 2014, Oglethorpe University entered into a land-lease agreement with Gables Residential to build Gables Brookhaven, a 374-unit apartment complex at Peachtree Road and Hermance Drive. The first of the two buildings opened in fall 2015, and the second in summer 2016. While the new construction updated Oglethorpe’s face to Peachtree Road, it also is having a dramatic, positive impact on the historic campus. The proceeds from the land-lease agreement were placed into a special endowment to be used specifically for deferred maintenance on Oglethorpe’s older

campus buildings, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Oglethorpe retained SiteLines, Inc., a consulting and construction firm, to conduct a complete deferred maintenance inventory and plan. The prioritization of projects financed through the annual endowment spending is approved by the Board of Trustees. Currently, “student-focused” areas on campus, including technical infrastructure affecting academic work, are at the top of the list. In 2015, University Business magazine featured Oglethorpe in a piece about higher education strategies for meeting

the high costs of deferred maintenance. Calling Oglethorpe “forward thinking,” the magazine highlighted the university’s strategy to generate a new revenue stream while also addressing the need for more student housing, without requiring new construction. “Oglethorpe’s residence halls were near capacity and we were need of additional space to accommodate our continued growth,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall. “Our partnership with Gables Residential allows us to fulfill that need, as the new community offers an alternative living choice for our students, while shifting the financial risk away from the university.”


“OUR TIME” CAMPAIGN SURPASSES GOAL A YEAR EARLY Campaign raises $50.2 million, the largest single fundraising total in university history

O By Renee Vary

glethorpe University exceeded the $50 million goal for its Our Time comprehensive campaign, announced publicly at its launch in 2013. Originally envisioned to conclude in June 2017, the campaign raised $50.2 million to benefit capital and program objectives, the Annual Fund, student scholarships, faculty teaching and scholarship, and growth in planned giving. Our Time is the largest single campaign in Oglethorpe’s history. “The early culmination of the Our Time campaign demonstrates a broadbased commitment and effort, most notably from our alumni, Board of Trustees and friends in the foundation community,” said Oglethorpe University President Larry Schall. Oglethorpe alumni, Board of Trustees and philanthropic foundations each contributed approximately 25% of the total amount raised.


Gifts to support capital and program objectives total $22.56 million, including $16 million earmarked for the construction of the awardwinning Turner Lynch Campus Center, which opened in fall 2013. In addition, Oglethorpe has constructed a scene shop adjacent to the Conant Performing Arts Center, installed a new track and field, and updated numerous classrooms with new technology. New commitments in planned giving reached $12.5 million, $2.5 million over the original goal of $10 million, from 41 estate gift commitments. “The unforeseen overage in planned gifts represents the bulk of future scholarships,” said Robyn FurnessFallin, vice president for development and alumni relations. “Those inspired to remember Oglethorpe in their estate plans are impacting generations of students to come.” In-kind gifts totaling $5.55 million include 116 pieces of artwork added to the permanent collection of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, as well as six new state-of-theart laboratory classrooms at Gables

Brookhaven, an on-campus residential apartment community that opened in late fall 2015. The Annual Fund received more than 10,000 gifts from nearly 3,700 donors. The average Annual Fund gift from alumni increased 44%, and 27 new named endowed funds were established. “As an alumna who cares deeply about Oglethorpe, it impresses me how the university has immediately put these gifts to use for the benefit of students and faculty,” said Campaign Co-Chair Belle Turner Lynch ’61. “The resounding success of the campaign reflects the dedication of our community—both within and beyond our granite walls—to ensuring that Oglethorpe remains a great university that transforms lives.”


FY 2005

FY 2010

FY 2015

FY 2016 (projected)

Net tuition and Fees

$10.2 million

$12.1 million

$13.8 million

$14.3 million

Total Revenue

$18.6 million

$23.4 million

$26.6 million

$27.1 million

Net Assets

$36.1 million

$44 million

$68.6 million

$70.0 million

Total Endowment

$12.6 million

$17.5 million

$31.0 million

$31.5 million

Endowment Payout









as % of MV Debt as % of Assets

13% Corporations 8% Other Individuals

26% Trustees

45% Capital and Program Objectives

27% Foundations 11% Gifts In Kind

Sources of Dollars Raised

26% Alumni

Campaign Donations by Category

25% Planned Gifts

19% Annual Fund


ANNUAL FUND MAKES HISTORY WITH RECORDBREAKING GIVING Oglethorpe surpassed its $1.4 million Annual Fund goal and raised a total of $1.415 million for 2015-2016, the largest unrestricted total amount of dollars for an annual campaign raised in its 181-year history. The Oglethorpe Annual Fund supports every aspect of the university—students, academic programs, faculty, facilities and more. Generous gifts to the Annual Fund are contributed from the entire Oglethorpe community, including alumni, faculty and staff, Board of Trustees, students, parents, parents of alumni and other friends and supporters. Gifts to the Annual Fund have an immediate impact and provide critical, current-use support for Oglethorpe. We are grateful for our incredibly supportive community for helping to make Petrel history this year! Learn more about what the Oglethorpe Annual Fund supports each year:


GRANTS TO GREEN FUNDS OGLETHORPE CAMPUS ASSESSMENT By Andy Sharfman It’s all too easy to forget that keeping the lights on or enjoying a long shower does have consequences. It’s especially easy for one person to overlook everyday actions in a public space, like a college campus, where it may feel like it doesn’t make much of a difference. However, one long shower adds up when multiplied campuswide, and as the water consumption rises, so does the financial and environmental cost. Cue Grants to Green, an initiative of the The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Grants to Green aims to improve nonprofits’ physical infrastructure, thereby leading to a shrinking environmental footprint and boosting the cost-efficiency of operations. Last summer, Grants to Green awarded Oglethorpe University with funding for a campus assessment, conducted by Southface, an Atlantabased company that provides tools for organizations and communities to increase sustainability. In response to this grant, Oglethorpe assembled a Green Team to work with Grants to Green and Southface to consider the university’s energy consumption and energy efficient options. The team includes representatives from the finance and development staff, facilities and maintenance, and faculty. In addition, students Matthew Roberson ’16 and Tyler Murphy ’16, both biology majors, participated in a day-long charrette in October 2015 to kick off the assessment.

The on-campus areas measured during the assessment were: BUILDINGS: inspection of energy and water systems of identified buildings; SITE: monitoring of non-building components, such as parking facilities, landscape and interstitial area, storm water management areas, site lighting; and OPERATIONS: review of practices such as waste management, purchasing, operations policies and occupant behaviors. Among its many discoveries, Southface determined that changes to Oglethorpe’s infrastructure and equipment, like installing low-flow plumbing and improved HVAC systems, could save the university up to an estimated $147,695 annually and cut down on a $930,567 annual energy bill. But, that implementation itself comes at a price. Moving forward, Oglethorpe has the opportunity to transform analysis into action. Grants to Green financially supports grant award winners by matching grants of up to $500,000 to implement projects identified in the assessment. Oglethorpe is currently in the process of applying for grants to help with the cost of implementation. “We have selected five priority projects as a result of our Grants to Green assessment,” said Robyn FurnessFallin, vice president for development and alumni relations. The first Implementation Grant application is for a building optimization systems (BAS) upgrade in Dempsey, one of the older residence halls. “We will then focus on LED upgrades for another

older dorm and our athlete training area,” Furness-Fallin adds. “Our focus is on student-centered areas first. The remaining two projects are less student-centered so they will be completed as matching funds become available.” Oglethorpe recognizes the power of collective action and community living. As part of this community, students are encouraged to look beyond themselves to consider the bigger picture, both in their academic pursuits and daily experiences. One important lesson of learning to live in a community is acting responsibly and conscientiously towards one’s surrounding environment. In this spirit, the university is actively promoting green thinking—both financially and environmentally— as a part of being a member of the larger Atlanta community.

In response to this grant, Oglethorpe assembled a Green Team to work with Grants to Green and Southface to consider the university’s energy consumption and energy efficient options.



UNDER A MICROSCOPE: MOUNICA KOTA ‘16 By Debbie Aiken ’12 Recent graduate Mounica Kota ’16 made the most of all Oglethorpe has to offer, right here on campus as well as out in Atlanta and around the world. Here’s a glimpse at some of her experiences:


Mounica’s passion for environmental science and desire to pursue specific topics, such as sustainability and conservation, more deeply than a standard biology major, prompted her to work with her faculty advisor, Dr. Roarke Donnelly, to create an individually planned major (IPM) in conservation biology. While focused on science, her coursework includes a healthy dose of economics, sociology, public health, nonprofit communication, and foreign language.


Mounica was a recipient of the Civic Engagement Scholarship, a full-ride award that requires students to assume a leadership role within Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement. Mounica logged close to 100 hours of community service each semester, well beyond the 60 hours required for her scholarship. “If I hadn’t been involved with the CCE and also able to work closely with faculty members, I don’t think I would have been able to distinguish


myself as quickly, have the same opportunities for advancement, or land the internships that I did.” Dr. Donnelly credits Mounica as the catalyst for Oglethorpe’s participation in the annual Atlanta Science Festival, founded in 2014 to celebrate science and technology in metro Atlanta.


Through a recommendation from Dr. Donnelly, Mounica secured an internship with the National Park Service at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, where she worked for more than a year. Together with the park’s biologist, she reviewed proposals from organizations wishing to build along the riverbanks, conducted site visits to review those plans, and provided the organizations with environmental considerations. She also reviewed “hundreds of pages of data” to prepare reports about river water quality changes for the National Park Service and Environmental Protection Agency. Then, in fall 2015, Mounica interned at Zoo Atlanta, where she adapted a college-level biology lesson about amphibian conservation issues for a high schoolaged audience. The lesson is used to lead related discussions for school tour groups.


Mounica is no stranger to research, with a number of projects on her resume. For a group project titled “The Edge Effect,” Mounica and her classmates set up wildlife cameras to record and observe activity around artificial bird nests (complete with wax eggs), that were strategically

wired into trees in the forest surrounding the Oglethorpe campus. “I checked the eggs for bite marks to see if the nests near the core or the edge of the forest attracted more predators,” she explained. This experience came in handy a few semesters later, while on a trip to Sapelo Island with her Conservation Biology class. Knowing Mounica had worked with wildlife cameras, Dr. Donnelly tasked her with setting them up in the woods surrounding their camp, in hopes of catching a glimpse of nocturnal critters.


Mounica traveled to Guatemala three times for Oglethorpe’s Alternative Spring Break, and in 2016 led the trip and accompanying volunteer efforts. While in Guatemala, Mounica was able to tie in her academic interest in sustainability and observe that the definition of sustainability can sometimes vary with location, through sitting in on a lesson about effectively skinning a rabbit. “While it was hard for me to watch… I felt like it was important for me to see that and understand how many different nuances there are to this concept of sustainability.” Mounica says she would love to eventually like to take her knowledge and passion for conservation and put it to work in Central or South America.




By Renee Vary ocal and global challenges to public health come in many forms: social and economic inequality, changes to the climate and environment, political upheaval, technological obstacles, lack of funding. Many of these problems require holistic, interdisciplinary approaches to overcome them.

Oglethorpe’s new Public Health Concentration was developed with this in mind, and to meet the interests and needs of students. It’s specially designed to draw on Oglethorpe’s trademark blend of intellectually stimulating liberal arts education and real-world focused, experiencebased learning. Oglethorpe’s liberal arts approach encourages Public Health students to explore broader perspectives, creative solutions and “big picture thinking”— the ideal foundation for understanding complex challenges to health and wellness, and how to solve them. The interdisciplinary Public Health Concentration will enable students to: • Study culture, communication, and social and natural sciences in the context of individual and community health. • Develop knowledge and awareness of specific topics in public health today.

• Get to know current public health professionals and learn from their experience. • Participate in activities that offer hands-on involvement in real-world challenges. Open to students with at least a sophomore standing, the program is designed to complement any major and can take the place of a traditional minor. The concentration requires three two-credit courses: Public Health Perspectives, Public Health Workshop, and Public Health in Practice, plus one 4-5 credit course in each of the three elective categories: Communication, Culture, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). The Public Health Concentration was designed with the counsel of 32 public health professionals, the majority of whom participated in an on-campus workshop in fall 2015. The advisors pledged support in course development, implementation, and/or sponsorship. To learn more about the Public Health Concentration and its real-world applications and potential career options, visit



O By Renee Vary

glethorpe University’s Chemistry department was awarded a grant to develop undergraduate lab experiments in the area of polymer and materials science. The grant, in part, funded stipends for three Oglethorpe student positions to help with the effort this past summer.

Oglethorpe’s award was allocated from a larger grant from the Dreyfus Foundation to eight higher education institutions, ranging from liberal arts universities (such as Williams College and Oglethorpe) to large research centers (including the University of Southern Mississippi and the U.S. Air Force Academy). With this grant, the schools will: (1) develop a public program focused on undergraduates interested in polymer science and engineering, in response to a recent American Chemical Society initiative, and (2) establish PUNK (Polymer Undergraduate Network of Knowledge), an online resource portal primarily serving undergraduate chemistry and chemical engineering instructors.

“I look forward to having the ability to compensate three students—with external funds—and in doing so, keep their talents right here on the Oglethorpe campus in the summer.” The American Chemical Society’s initiative aims to better integrate polymer science into the introductory and foundational courses of chemistry programs, and to enhance student interest through their understanding of real-world applications of chemistry. A highly interdisciplinary field, macromolecular chemistry cuts across the five foundation areas of chemistry: organic, analytical, physical, inorganic, and biochemistry. PUNK will be a valuable resource to help instructors to accomplish this and to prepare their students to be effective scientists. The resources that are developed and posted on PUNK will facilitate an instructor’s inclusion of the principles of polymer chemistry, engineering, and physics into an existing undergraduate course or into one that is to be developed.

“I expect the Goslin (science) building to be buzzing with research news from chemistry, biology, and physics in the coming months,” said Dr. Gabriel. “We plan to disseminate our results through publications and national meetings in the next three years. While much of the work will take place over the summer, we expect these projects to grow in scope and impact as we share our results and support future grant proposals.”

“I am excited that Oglethorpe is part of this initiative,” said Dr. Gregory Gabriel, assistant professor of chemistry, who secured the grant and will be leading the efforts at Oglethorpe.



LIGHTS, CAMERA, OGLETHORPE! Georgia’s thriving film industry impacts Oglethorpe’s bottom line, student opportunities

O By Oliver McGuire ‘15

Oglethorpe University put its beautiful campus to work in 2015, grossing more than $150,000 in revenue from film and television productions. The campus hosted 11 filming projects, ranging from a 10-second clip to network television shows with more than 500 people on set. As one of the only campuses in Atlanta to feature unique masonry and Gothic architectural style, Oglethorpe attracts filming location scouts seeking a historic and grand setting, and producers find an easy-access location in one of the most film-friendly cities and states. State tax incentives were expanded under the updated Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, signed by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2008. The incentives include a 20% tax credit for filming in Georgia with an additional 10% available for films that promote Georgia within the industry by displaying the state logo in the credits. The dramatic impact of these incentives are seen in the $1.7 billion in film industry spending during the 2015 fiscal year, as reported by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.



oon after the tax credits were enacted, Oglethorpe began to see more film-related facility requests and rentals. The CW’s The Vampire Diaries filmed in the Hearst Great Hall during its second season in 2010. A few months before, 96 Minutes, a film starring Brittany Snow, had filmed in Lupton Auditorium. While a number of commercials and small filming projects came to campus during the following years, the influx was not evident until fall 2014, likely due to a healthier economy. NBC’s Constantine and Sony Entertainment’s Powers, a super-hero show that streams on the PlayStation network, both filmed episodes that heavily featured the interior and exterior of academic buildings on the quad. More recently, Oglethorpe hosted a number of single-day filming projects for both film and television. Most notably, the 2015 reboot of the Chevy


Chase comedies Vacation, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, altered Oglethorpe’s Peachtree Road entrance to portray the fictional Memphis State College. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim filmed an establishing shot of campus during the early morning hours for one of their mature audience comedies. In summer 2015, two episodes of USA Network’s Satisfaction transformed the Hearst Great Hall and Lupton Admission Office lounge into corporate offices for the conclusion of the show’s second season. At the end of the summer, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow filmed flashback sequences in the Hearst Great Hall and outside Philip Weltner Library, using simulated rain and other visual effects. At the start of the 2015-2016 academic year, TNT arrived with NBA legends Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal for The Dunk King, a basketball dunking competition, in Dorough Field House. The four-episode show is set to air in May 2016 during the NBA Western Conference Finals. The next month, Sony Entertainment returned to film a pivotal action sequence for season two of PlayStation’s popular show Powers.

All of these filming projects, along with other facility rentals, generate revenue that contributes to Oglethorpe’s ability to offer scholarships to students. In addition to the financial benefits, students regularly have the opportunity to participate in the filming projects by working with the Office of Special Events on set, supervising production. Theatre students also have gained valuable acting experience as extras. During filming for a pilot show in December, students in Dr. Reshmi Hebbar’s “TV & Reading” class were invited to tour the set and speak with the show’s director, offering a firsthand opportunity to see the practical application of what they are learning in the classroom. As 2016 begins, Oglethorpe continues to receive dozens of filming requests. However, in an effort to minimize disruption to campus life, only professionally-managed projects that align with the university’s schedule are accepted. The film and television industry in Georgia is showing no signs of slowing and neither is Oglethorpe’s role in that economic growth.

 Want to break into Georgia’s growing film industry? According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “although there’s no one specific college degree that can catapult your success in the film industry, there are a few majors that can better prepare you for a career in the film industry.” And these majors just so happen to be offered at Oglethorpe: accounting, English, film, and theatre. Find out more at



State in the U.S. to live and work for filmmakers, based on film production in 2015 (shooting days, number of productions and dollars generated), film community and culture, access to equipment and facilities, tax incentives, cost of living, lifestyle, weather and transportation

#3 $6Billion $1.7Billion 248

Georgia is now the third largest production center in the United Sates, behind Los Angeles and New York

Economic impact in the state in 2015

Spent in the state in 2015

Productions shot in the state in 2015 Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle



Oglethorpe launches GO Barcelona in 2016, London in 2017 Since 2012, Oglethorpe has served as the academic partner of LeadAbroad (formerly Global LEAD), approving academic faculty, syllabi, course pedagogy and materials for its multifaceted study abroad programs. LeadAbroad programs attract a growing number of students from universities across the U.S., most of whom earn transferable Oglethorpe credit for the program. When LeadAbroad first partnered with Oglethorpe, existing programs were based in Cape Town, Ecuador (phased out in 2014), and Greece. Since then, LeadAbroad has expanded to include Global Oglethorpe (GO) programs in Rome (launched in 2014), and in Barcelona, introduced in summer 2016, following the success of the Rome program. Barcelona debuted with the highest number of registrants among all the programs. In summer 2017, GO London is expected to join the line-up. LeadAbroad offers three different programs: LEAD, GO, and DIRECT.

LEAD programs in Cape Town and Greece offer a holistic study

abroad experience together with a focus on leadership, service and adventure. Students earn six credit hours in Leadership in Action and Global Citizenship and Civic Engagement from Oglethorpe.

GO programs in Rome and Barcelona are traditional study abroad programs with independent travel opportunities. Students take two classes for six credits from Oglethorpe in art, business, communications, humanities or language. DIRECT programs in Cape Town and Greece offer curated travel experiences focusing on adventure, service opportunities and local culture, with no college credit. Learn more at




2013 / 2 2014 / 11 2015 / 12 2016 / 17 Oglethorpe faculty members have taught each summer at all of the locations. In 2016, GO Rome featured an all-Oglethorpe faculty: Drs. Jeffrey Collins, Lynn Guhde, Amanda Printz, and Seema Shrikhande. GO Barcelona faculty included Drs. Mario Chandler, Viviana Plotnik, and Earl Howell. YEAR / TOTAL # OF U.S. STUDENTS ENROLLED

2013 / 133 2014 / 241 2015 / 288 2016 / 437 31

Non-Profit Organization US. POSTAGE PAID Atlanta, GA 30319 PERMIT No. 523

4484 Peachtree Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30319

JAMES & CAMILLA COMERFORD COLLECTION Political Memorabilia (1933-2012) A collection of 20,000 items of political and campaign memorabilia, spanning more than eight decades, was generously donated by James and Camilla Comerford to Oglethorpe University. Select items are on permanent exhibition in the Weltner Library, beginning September 19, 2016.

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