Campus Communications

President Johnson communicates periodically to the campus community about relevant topics.

» Becker College's 2016 President's Report
» Becker Believes in the Pursuit of Knowledge and Opportunity for All
» Passing of a Student
» Becker’s Commitment to Acceptance & Respect
» Becker College: Among the Nation's Top Colleges
» Colleen L. Bielitz, Ph.D., appointed vice president for institutional advancement and chief business development officer

» AVMA Reaccredits the Becker College Veterinary Technology Program
» 2016 Presidential Speaker Series – Dr. Muhammad Yunus
» Becker College’s 2015 President’s Report
» Becker College opens first Yunus Social Business Centre in U.S.

read more topics

Becker College’s 2016 President’s Report

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: January 31, 2017

I am pleased to announce the release of the 2016 President’s Report entitled “Progress to Powerful Possibilities.” This Report marks my seventh fiscal year at Becker and highlights the College’s most important accomplishments. During this period, we have experienced record enrollments, world-wide recognition for our academic programs, and continued to mobilize our mission.

This report touches on many points of pride that give a better sense of our progress as an institution. Stories include the expansion of the Agile Mindset in our curriculum, redesign of our Business program, and creation of the new Master of Science in Nursing program. There are also stories of students who have started social businesses and have accepted Peace Corps assignment overseas, and our Blueprint for the Future which details how we will continue to innovate and lead the way for small private colleges.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible and to the campus community for being the change that led to the inspirational stories found within this Report. I hope you enjoy reading more about Becker and the steps we are taking together for a successful future.

Click here to view “Progress to Powerful Possibilities” and to access previous Becker College President's Reports.

Becker Believes in the Pursuit of Knowledge and Opportunity for All

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: January 31, 2017

Last Friday, the President of the United States signed an executive order that blocks entry to the country for refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. This executive order has already disrupted the lives of a number of students, faculty, and staff at colleges and universities around the country. While these events impact each college and university in differing ways, we stand with our fellow institutions of higher education in the pursuit of knowledge and opportunity for everyone, no matter where they call home.

We do not yet know the full ramifications of the executive order and subsequent decisions by federal judges, but we support those affected. At Becker, we believe in the transformational power of a college education to impart knowledge and enlightenment in a global society. It is this academic outlook that prepares our graduates to thrive in the interconnected, international economy of the 21st century. Community and diversity are among our core values and are integral to our commitment to inclusion and respect for all people. These principles are most important in times of strife, and we must not abandon them.

Passing of a Becker Student

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: January 23, 2017

With sorrow I write to tell you that Gerald “Gerry” Owen ’17 lost his battle with esophageal cancer this morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Gerry, an exercise science major from Chesapeake, Virginia, and a member of the men’s hockey team, put up a valiant fight while continuing with his classwork and his passion for his sport. Members of the administration and I visited him last week to award him his bachelor of science degree and shared with him and his family our pride in all he accomplished.

As we all deal with this loss to our community, please know that there are counseling services available at both campuses. In the coming days we will share details of other opportunities to remember Gerry and celebrate his life, including the tribute to him on Thursday, February 9, at the men’s hockey game, New England Sports Center in Marlboro, 7:40 p.m. You may still contribute to the GoFundMe page established by Gerry’s friends to assist his family with the significant medical expenses associated with Gerry’s care and treatment.

Thank you for keeping Gerry and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Becker's Commitment to Acceptance and Respect

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: November 15, 2016

At Becker, we have long championed acceptance and respect for people from all walks of life. These principles are reflected in our Core Values of excellence, accountability, community and diversity, social responsibility, integrity, and creative expression. Every day we exhibit these values, but in times of turbulence, it is helpful to reflect on their meaning.

As the country and world around us continue to change, especially in light of the events of the past week, it is now more important than ever that we come together as a College, a country, and a people to push back against intolerance. We must help those who feel vulnerable or fearful while striving to make a more inclusive world. Remember, it is easy to stand by those with whom we agree, but courage is necessary to reach out to those who may think differently from us.

Our students, staff, and faculty come from across the country and around the world, and each bring individual backgrounds and worldviews. Acknowledging and celebrating what makes each of us unique is central to our mission and who we are as an institution of higher learning. We talk about our differences and similarities in hope of a better understanding of each other and ourselves.

As an institution, we will continue to embrace a welcoming environment and guard against injustice. Let us all work together to build a better global community. As the great parliamentarian, Edmund Burke, said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Becker College: Among the Nation's Top Colleges

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: August 30, 2016

It is with great pride to announce the Princeton Review has named Becker College one of the best higher-education institutions in the nation for undergraduate education. Becker is among the schools included in The Best 381 Colleges: 2017 Edition, the annual guide released today (Tuesday) by The Princeton Review, a nationally-recognized, Massachusetts-based education services company.

The ranking once again underscores Becker’s commitment to ensuring every student a transformational, educational experience distinguished by academic excellence and preparation for the real world of the 21st century. The Princeton Review announcement arrives on the heels of our recent welcome of the class of 2020, the largest incoming class for the fourth consecutive year. The College also opened the new school year affirming the Agile Mindset as the academic foundation that equips students to navigate change, and create new value in our increasingly complex, hyper-connected, automated world.

Robert Franek, senior vice president /publisher of The Princeton Review, said of our selection, “Becker's outstanding academics are the chief reason we chose it for this book, and we strongly recommend the college to applicants.”

We are pleased to once again add this distinction to the Becker community’s points of pride, which also include: ranked #5 in the world for undergraduate game design education by The Princeton Review; nationally and regionally recognized programs in nursing and animal studies; and expanded academic programs that offer graduate degrees in nursing and mental health counseling.

The Becker College two-page profile in the popular annual “Best Colleges” guidebook is available now.

I want to thank each and every one of you for the part you have played in making Becker College one of the nation’s best. We have come a long way, and I am honored to be on this journey with you.

Colleen L. Bielitz, Ph.D., appointed vice president for institutional advancement and chief business development officer

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: May 9, 2016

Updated September 30, 2016: The name of the Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been changed to the Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Leadership.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Colleen L. Bielitz, Ph.D., as vice president for institutional advancement and chief business development officer, effective immediately. An accomplished leader with more than fifteen years’ experience in higher education, Colleen has consistently brought a great deal of expertise, energy, and enthusiasm to her work. She has been with Becker since November 2010, serving first as dean of accelerated and professional studies, and since September 2015, as chief business development officer for strategic partnerships and innovation. Under her tenure, several new certificate programs, a bachelor’s degree, and the College’s first fully online bachelor’s degree were launched within the Accelerated and Professional Studies division, and enrollment and revenue increased significantly. She was instrumental also in garnering grant funds from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Health Resources and Service Administration, and Davis Educational Foundation.

Prior to Becker, Colleen served as regional enrollment vice president, north east and mid-Atlantic states, for higher education consulting firm Miller/Cook & Associates, Marco Island, Florida, and as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School in Norristown, Pennsylvania, one of the largest public Pennsylvania cyber schools of choice serving K-12 students. Her previous higher education posts include director of graduate and professional studies at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania, and senior recruiter/corporate trainer and assistant director of admissions at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. In January 2016, Colleen earned her Ph.D. in education leadership from Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. She holds an MS in organizational leadership from Cabrini College and a BA in communications from West Chester University, in Pennsylvania. She lives in Newington, Connecticut, with her family.

As the College grows and evolves, uniting its signature enterprises such as MassDiGI, Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College, Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship, global citizenship, Schools and new academic programs, and establishes the agile mindset as a distinctive market position, Colleen will play a key role in building the partnerships and synergies that align entrepreneurial, innovative strategies and ensure their growth and sustainability—building Becker’s stature and financial position.

Please join me in welcoming Colleen to her new position.

AVMA Reaccredits the Becker College Veterinary Technology Program

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: May 6, 2016

I am pleased to report that the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) has granted continued full accreditation to the Becker College Veterinary Technology Program. The decision was made at their April 21 – 24 meeting based on the evaluation report from committee members’ site visit to the College last October.

The reaccreditation serves to reaffirm Becker’s academic leadership in veterinary technology. It also underscores the exemplary commitment of our faculty and staff to providing our students with a transformational learning experience that prepares them to contribute to the dynamic veterinary field in a rapidly changing, global society.

I would like to congratulate Dr. Julie Bailey, dean of Becker’s School of Animal Studies and Natural Sciences and the Allerton Chair of Animal Health Sciences, and her team. They did an exceptional job leading the College through the time- and labor-intensive process of maintaining accreditation. Dr. Bailey also serves as the medical director and director of the Veterinary Technology Program.

The dedication to excellence demonstrated under her leadership throughout the nine-month evaluation process provided a sterling example of the standard Becker sets for all of its programs.
We are proud of our animal studies programs, faculty, and students. We look forward to continuing to prepare young men and women to make the world of the animal sciences, present and future, better than they found it.

2016 Presidential Speaker Series − Dr. Muhammad Yunus

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: March 15, 2016

Dear Becker Community,

On Tuesday, April 5, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., Becker College will be proud to welcome Nobel Peace Laureate, Congressional Medalist, and Visionary Social Business Pioneer and Leader Muhammad Yunus to Mechanics Hall for the Presidential Speaker Series. The event supports student scholarships and internship programs.

Professor Yunus’ visit publicly launches the Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College, one of several Yunus Centres worldwide, and the first in the United States. The Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College will focus on identifying world problems and creating innovative, self-sustaining business solutions that transform lives and communities.

Due to the magnitude of our partnership with Professor Yunus, the Presidential Speaker Series event represents a pivotal moment in Becker’s history. I request every staff and faculty member to support this event. Additionally, faculty will be urged to:

  • Cancel all classes after 4:00 p.m. (traditional and accelerated)
  • Offer extra credit to students who attend the event
  • Discuss event attendance expectations with each of your classes
  • Discuss the important role this partnership plays in the future of Becker College.

Thanks to the generosity of many sponsors, this is event is free of charge, however, space is limited, so please reserve your seats as soon as possible.

I look forward to seeing you on April 5. Thank you for your support.

Becker College’s 2015 President’s Report

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: September 24, 2015

I am pleased to share with you Becker College’s 2015 President’s Report, which focuses on Becker as a small college achieving big things. Our recent accomplishments are a direct result of your hard work and dedication to Becker—from the largest enrollment in the College’s history (for the third consecutive year) to signing a Memorandum of Understanding to open the Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College, the first officially sanctioned Yunus Social Business Centre in the U.S. What we have accomplished together has been truly noteworthy, and serves to enhance and strengthen our brand and reputation.

This year’s Report, available online only, is compatible with modern browsers* on desktop, mobile, and tablets. You may share sections of the Report on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) by clicking the Share icon on any page. This year’s Report also highlights the graphic and technology skills of two Becker alumni: Ryan Barry ’15, who produced the opening video and animated infographics, and Erjon Metohu ’08, Founder & Creative Director at Eri Design, Inc., who oversaw coding and technology.

I hope you enjoy this Report and will share it with others through social media, and by adding to your email signatures.

*Recommended: Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

» Visit the 2015 President's Report

Becker College opens first Yunus Social Business Centre in U.S.

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: May 29, 2015

I am pleased to announce that on May 28, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Becker College signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus to establish the Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College. David Jordan, DHA, MPA, President and CEO of Seven Hills Foundation, and a member of our Board of Trustees, also traveled to Dhaka to attend. Our Centre is established in partnership with the Seven Hills Foundation.

Becker College is one of a handful of higher education institutions in the world—and the first in the United States—to establish an officially sanctioned Yunus Social Business Centre. The College’s Centre will focus on identifying real-world social problems, creating innovative, self-sustaining solutions to transform lives and communities. Read the media release here.

2015 Commencement Speaker Announcement

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: March 26, 2015

Dear Becker Community,

I am pleased to announce that Karen S. Rohan, president of Aetna, Inc., will deliver the keynote address at Becker College’s 227th Commencement ceremony, to be held on Saturday, May 9, at11:00 a.m., at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester. Ms. Rohan epitomizes what is best in leadership and adherence to strong, community-focused values. With three decades of experience in the health care industry, she is one of the nation’s top female business leaders. As president of Aetna, Inc.—one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46 million people—Ms. Rohan is responsible for implementing Aetna’s strategies among the company’s core institutional businesses. Prior to her appointment as president in January 2015, Ms. Rohan served in various capacities including executive vice president of Aetna’s Local and Regional Businesses, in which she successfully led Aetna’s integration efforts for the 2013 acquisition of Coventry Health Care.

Prior to joining Aetna, Ms.Rohan served as president of Magellan Health Services, and as president of the Group Disability, Dental and Vision Care businesses at CIGNA, a role that was the culmination of a career with CIGNA that included a number of positions. In 2011, she co-chaired the Health Care and Pharmaceutical Task Force for the Wall Street Journal Women in the Economy Conference. In 2012, Ms. Rohan was named “Most Influential in Specialty Health” by the National Association for the Specialty Health Organizations, and was included on the Business Insurance “Women to Watch” list. In 2013, she was named a finalist for the Female Executive of the Year in the American Business Awards “the Stevies” Competition.

It is customary that the Commencement speaker is awarded an honorary degree at the Commencement ceremony. This year, we will also award an honorary degree to The Honorable Martha P. Grace, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, for her achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction, which include 30 years of service to the state’s court system, the distinction of being the first woman to lead one of the Commonwealth's seven trial court departments, and her distinguished service as a member of the Becker College Board of Trustees (2002-2014). Judge Grace will deliver the address at our Honors Convocation on Friday, May 8, at 3:00 p.m., on the Leicester Campus.

In the coming weeks, the Becker community will focus on celebrating the achievements of our graduating students as they prepare to take their places in the world as global citizens. I invite you to visit the 2015 Commencement pages for more information.

Becker College Game Design Program Ranked #9 in the World

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: March 26, 2015

Dear Becker Community,

I am pleased to announce that the Becker College game design program has been ranked #9 in the world by The Princeton Review, on its just-released list of top-25 undergraduate schools to study game design for 2015.

This provides us with huge visibility for our program, by a prestigious and well-respected organization. It also marks the sixth consecutive year Becker has attained such recognition. To put this in perspective: Becker College has been included on the list ever since The Princeton Review launched the game design rankings in 2010, and we are the only institution on the East Coast—and one of four internationally—University of Southern California, DigiPen Institute of Technology (Washington), and the Art Institute of Vancouver (Canada)—to maintain this longstanding distinction. In addition, this year we are ranked ahead of RPI (#11), Carnegie Mellon (#12), MIT (#14), WPI (#17), and other large universities.

By 2017, it is predicted that gaming industry earnings will reach $86 billion. This year’s recognition is a testament to our dedication to strengthening the pipeline of talent between higher education and the game industry, by providing our students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

Congratulations to our interactive media faculty and to those whose collective efforts have helped us continue to strengthen our program. Read the full news release here.

Death of a Becker College Student

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: March 17, 2015

Dear Members of the Becker College Community:

As you learned last evening, Becker College was informed by MBTA police of the death of one of our students in Boston. Dana Richard Groleau was attending a public, non-Becker-College event. Student Affairs staff and Counseling Services were immediately made available on both campuses, and these services will continue to be available for any member of our community, for as long as is needed. Additional information about funeral arrangements and a campus memorial service will be disseminated from Student Affairs.

Trying to fathom the loss of someone so young is difficult, and our hearts go out to his parents; his family; and his many friends, teammates, classmates, and roommates. A young life full of promise was cut short, and together we mourn as a community.

Dana, a junior, was a well-respected and involved student. As a student-athlete, he played left tackle for Becker’s football team during his freshman and sophomore years (2012 and 2013 seasons). Coach Mike Lichten recalls that Dana was very smart, observant, and analytical, as well as physically tough. Although he dislocated his kneecap during the 2013 season, he continued to play through a number of games; he did it for his teammates and for the people who were counting on him. He was also actively engaged with the Office of Campus Activities & Leadership Development, as a Public Relations Chair on the Campus Activities Board and an Orientation Leader for the Class of 2019. Dana brought his positive attitude and creativity to each of these positions, and was dedicated to bringing many events and programs to life through his creativity and outreach to his peers.

Dana, a graphic design major, had recently added a double major in business. As a student worker in the Office of Campus Activities, he used his design talents and skills to produce impressive, professional-looking projects. His professor and advisor, Kat Andler, recalls his huge personality, which lit up a room, how respectful he was to others, and how he enjoyed living in the moment and being happy in life. Recently Dana had made great leaps forward in his graphic design work; he had latched onto motion graphics, and had created some great projects.

This morning I spoke with Dana’s mother and expressed our heartfelt condolences. My prayers go out to the Groleau family during this very difficult time. The Becker College community is deeply saddened by the loss of Dana. He was truly a great young man. Let us remember the Book of Matthew, which says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Let us also wrap our arms around the family and friends of Dana during their time of sorrow. We will always remember him, and he will forever have a place in our hearts.

#1 Snowiest City

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: February 11, 2015

Good Afternoon –

Of the many distinctions Becker College has, probably the one we are least thrilled about right now is that we have a campus in the #1 snowiest city in the country. As of yesterday, according to GoLocal Worcester, Worcester has surpassed Buffalo, New York, and Erie, Pennsylvania, in total snowfall.

Close to seven feet of snow has fallen in the last 16 days! In other words, more than the height of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski—who stands at a mere 6’ 6”—has descended upon us.

While this is not necessarily a distinction that is putting any one of us in a celebratory mood—it is truly a “snowmaggedon”.  I would like to commend each and every one of you for helping us continue to serve our students well: from keeping sidewalks cleared, to posting assignments on Canvas, to making sure they are fed.

I know the past few weeks have been trying for everyone. We need to continue to be patient and flexible navigating streets and sidewalks and finding parking.  We need to be considerate of staff who may not be able to make it into work on time due to driving conditions or their children’s school delays or closures. We need to be thankful for our essential personnel who have been dedicated to snow removal, as well as to the safety and security of our campus.

Let us all remember that while we are in the business of education, we are also a community that cares about one another and takes care of one another.  Just remember – only 38 more days until Spring begins !

Please click on this link to view video –

Have a nice day !

Major gift announcement

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: January 13, 2015

Updated September 30, 2016: The name of the new center has been changed to the Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Leadership.

I am delighted to start the new year with exciting news: the College has received a $1 million gift from Colleen Barrett ’64, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines who is regarded as one of the most influential leaders in aviation history. The commitment—the largest from an individual in our 230-year history—will be used to name and create the College’s new Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CGIE).

For many years, Ms. Barrett has demonstrated devotion and generosity to her alma mater in countless ways.  She epitomizes all that is great about the education we deliver, and provides a powerful example of innovative transformation. Her leadership at Southwest Airlines created and nurtured a corporate culture that set the company apart from its competitors and made it the country’s largest and most profitable airline.

Her dedication to Becker has been strengthened by our collective commitment to transforming the College. She firmly believes that we are moving in the right direction. We truly embrace the art of possibility; what we have accomplished over the past few years has set the bar high in the competitive higher education marketplace.

Ms. Barrett’s gift will fuel the future of innovation and entrepreneurship at Becker, enhancing our reputation as a national and international education leader.  In the coming months, you will learn more about the CGIE, which will be housed on the College’s historic property at 80 William Street, Worcester. The Center will offer a range of activities that fully develop the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in a challenging, evolving marketplace, support the institution-wide commitment to developing an agile mindset in all graduates, and serve as a model for success for other institutions of higher education.

On behalf of the College, I have extended our most sincere thanks and appreciation to Ms. Barrett for this historic gift. I look forward to a new year of continued growth and great accomplishments.

<<<Read the full release here>>>

Developments as we enter the 2014-2015 academic year

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: August 6, 2014

In just a few weeks, we will welcome your student to campus for the 2014-2015 academic year. The summer has been an exciting and transformational one. I am pleased to share with you a number of activities that were undertaken to strengthen the College and enhance our students' experience.

In July, the College was invited to join two prestigious organizations: the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (The Alliance), and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Becker is one of only 19 charter members invited to the newly formed Alliance, which provides a platform for leading academics to showcase the critical role video game programs play in educating and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. Educational membership in the IACBE is a recognized standard of academic excellence in collegiate business programs and reinforces Becker’s commitment to preparing students to be world ready.

Also in the area of academics, we have strengthened existing programs and launched new ones, including:

B.S. in Community Health and Wellness Education
B.A. in Early Childhood and Youth Education
Minor and concentration in Global Citizenship
Concentration in Computer Game Production and Management
Concentration in Pre-Med/Health Studies
Concentration in Pre-Law
Concentration in Health and Human Services
Concentration in Big Data Analytics
Concentration in Counterterrorism Studies
Concentration and a certificate in Alcoholism/Drug Abuse Counseling

In addition, we are expanding our academic programs to include graduate education, with work underway for a master’s degree in the area of psychology.

Over the summer, we made significant improvements to the campus environment. Renovation projects—both big and small—were completed in every residence hall on both campuses, including painting and lighting upgrades, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, replacement of carpeting, and new roofing. In some halls, we added furniture and televisions. Improvements were also made to the Hawks Nest snack bar.

We invested in technology needs and upgrades, with new and additional computers for the libraries and Collaborative Learning Centers. There are also new servers and switches, additional wireless licenses and access points for residence halls, a new iMac lab in the Design Building, print management software, and classroom projection equipment.

Each year I hear from students about how much they enjoy our campuses, their professors and classroom experiences, the close-knit family atmosphere, and the many opportunities to get involved, make a difference, and grow as individuals. Everyone at Becker College is united in their commitment to providing your student with the best educational and collegiate experience possible. We look forward to welcoming our student to campus in a few weeks.

President Johnson Announces Becker College is Charter Member of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: July 7, 2014

Becker College has recently been named as one of the 19 charter members of the newly formed, and first of its kind, Higher Education Video Game Alliance (The Alliance).The Alliance, launched July 1 at the Aspen Ideas Festival, will provide a platform for leading academics to showcase the critical role video game programs are playing in educating and preparing students for the 21st century workforce.

The Alliance’s charter members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of the most prestigious programs. Becker College is honored to be part of such a high-caliber, national organization and to be included with other institutions of admirable stature. This recognition speaks volumes to the excellence and quality of our video game design program.

For more details, see the media release.

President Johnson Announces Len Gengel '84 as 2014 Commencement Speaker

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: March 24, 2014

I am pleased to announce that Len Gengel, co-founder of the Be Like Brit Orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti, former founder and CEO of C&S Builders, and 1984 Becker College graduate, will deliver the keynote address at Becker College’s 226th Commencement ceremony, to be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at the Hanover Theatre in downtown Worcester.

Len epitomizes what is best in an entrepreneurial spirit combined with strong, community-focused values. He started a successful company, C&S Builders (an acronym for College Student), in 1982, while he was a student himself. For his enterprise, he garnered recognition including the Homebuilder of the Year Award in Massachusetts and designation as “A Quality Builder,” in the book Recognition, Gratitude, and Celebration, published in 2007.

In 2010, the Gengel family received the terrible news that their daughter, Britney, had died in the catastrophic earthquake that had devastated the country of Haiti. Len and his wife, Cherylann, and their family, turned that personal tragedy into a passion to honor Britney’s last wish, to provide a home and education to poverty-stricken children in Haiti. The Becker College Class of 2014 could not have a more striking example of transformation, determination, and social responsibility as they embark on their next transformative personal and professional journeys.

It is customary that the Commencement speaker is awarded an honorary degree at the Commencement ceremony. This year, we are also pleased to announce that we will be bestowing honorary degrees to Cherylann Gengel and to Dr. Sheila Harrity, principal of Worcester Technical High School, for their achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction and for demonstrating personal and professional qualities that are consistent with the mission and values of Becker College. Dr. Harrity will also deliver our Honors Convocation address on Friday, May 9, 2014, at 3:00 p.m., on the Leicester Campus.

In the coming weeks, the Becker community will focus on celebrating the achievements of our graduating students as they prepare to take their places in the world as global citizens. I invite you to visit the 2014 Commencement pages, at for more information about Len Gengel and all Commencement 2014 activities.

President Johnson Announces Thomas L. Friedman as inaugural keynote for the Presidential Speaker Series

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: March 4, 2014

On Tuesday, April 8, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., Becker College will be proud to welcome internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist, Thomas L. Friedman, to Mechanics Hall for the inaugural Becker College Presidential Speaker Series. The event supports the John J. Dorsey, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund.

It is not often a thought leader of the magnitude of Thomas L. Friedman comes to Worcester. Thanks to the generosity of many, I invite all faculty, staff, and students to join me, free of charge, for the April 8 event.

Becker College Presidential Speaker Series featuring Thomas L. Friedman
Tuesday, April 8
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Mechanics Hall
321 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Tickets are NOT required for Becker College faculty, staff, and students.

For complimentary General Admission tickets (i.e., for friends and family), please visit or

Transportation to and from Mechanics Hall will be provided for faculty, staff, and students. Buses and shuttles will be leaving from the Fuller Campus Center in Leicester at 4:30 p.m. and the Boutin Student Center in Worcester at 4:45 p.m.

For more information, please visit or contact Jacob Sanders by phone at 508.373.9717 or email at

About the Becker College Presidential Speaker Series

The Becker College Presidential Speaker Series features thought leaders known for their expertise and perspectives on key challenges and opportunities facing students preparing for meaningful, successful careers in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

The series, presented by the Becker College Office of the President, advances the College’s mission of preparing world-ready graduates who are prepared to thrive, contribute to, and lead in a global society. Proceeds are directed to the John J. Dorsey Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides merit scholarships for students to attend Becker College. Dorsey, who started his career as an attorney and then dedicated more than 40 years to education, was an esteemed Professor of Legal Studies at Becker until his passing.

About Thomas L. Friedman

Bestselling author of The World is Flat and columnist for The New York Times, Thomas Friedman is renowned for his direct reporting and sophisticated analysis of complex issues facing the modern world. According to Foreign Policy magazine, “Friedman doesn't just report on events; he helps shape them.”

Winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, he has covered monumental stories from around the globe for The New York Times since 1981. Vanity Fair called him “the country’s best newspaper columnist.” For a full biography, visit

Message From President Johnson About The Boston Marathon Tragedy

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: April 16, 2013

The shocking events at yesterday’s Boston Marathon touch the hearts of all of us in the Becker College community. The marathon is an event that has long captured our interest, bringing us great joy over the years. Many of us may have run the marathon or have family members or friends who have run as personal tests of discipline and strength. We have cheered the runners we know and those who demonstrate the values we hold dear, as they race to benefit individuals and charities that help to transform lives and communities. This senseless act of violence cannot be explained or understood, and I know that it will take us time to process the emotions we are feeling.

Yesterday, the Office of Student Affairs sent a message to the Becker College community, stressing the responsibility felt by Becker faculty and staff toward the safety, security, and emotional needs of our students as we cope with the shock and grief that follow this terrible event. Our Residence Life staff has reached out to the students they serve on both the Worcester and Leicester Campuses, and our counseling staff has made itself available for consultation and support.

We are blessed to share a community whose members care deeply about each other. I know we will come together to support one another, and I will keep you informed of any actions we may be able to take to provide assistance for those affected by this senseless act.

Please join me in sending our continued thoughts and prayers to the victims and their loved ones.

Message From President Johnson About Newtown Tragedy

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: December 17, 2012

On behalf of the entire Becker College community, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims of the terrible tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. For those of us entrusted with the care and education of our youth, such a tragedy strikes home with particular force.  It is heartbreaking that such a senseless act of violence has taken the lives of those so young and innocent who had a lifetime ahead of them.  They were lives filled with hope and promise, and we pray for healing so that the suffering of the community, the survivors, and the families of the victims may be eased in some small way.

A tragedy of this magnitude reminds us that we do not stand alone. We are joined to our families, neighbors, communities, and to the shared humanity of a global village. No matter where life’s challenges occur—whether close to home or far across the globe—we are one community and one world.

Former President Bill Clinton once said, “Whatever we do, we have to have a care for the security of our nation, the character of our people, and the future of our children. We must respond in a way that is consistent with the larger obligation that we all have to build a more integrated global community.”

At Becker College, we share a spirit that not only unites us as members of our community, but also connects us with that global society. That spirit begins with the caring we give to each other. As we begin the act of healing from this senseless tragedy, I urge you to keep close the memories of those who are no longer with us. Even the simple act of saying a prayer, hugging a loved one, or shedding tears can help us to remain strong in this time of unbearable sorrow.

Veterans Day

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: November 7, 2012

Veterans Day is a time in which we acknowledge those men and women who serve and have served our country as members of the military. They uphold the American way of life and have risked much so that we can enjoy the safety and security that much of the world still struggles to achieve.

To honor the veterans among our College community as well as the approximately 23.2 million veterans who have also served our country, the College will commemorate Veterans Day with a ceremony on Monday, November 12, at 11:00 a.m., on the Worcester Campus quad. I look forward to seeing you there.

The program will include words from members of our community who have served their country and a reading of the names of our faculty, staff, and students who have served. Members of our faculty, staff, and students who are veterans and wish to have their name read at the ceremony are asked to contact Nancy Crimmin, Vice President for Student Affairs ( by Friday, November 9.

In addition to Monday’s ceremony in Worcester, other planned activities that will help our community acknowledge the importance of this day include:

  • On Sunday, November 11, the movie The Hurt Locker will be shown at 7:00 p.m. in Daniels Hall, on the Leicester Campus.
  • On Monday, November 12, red, white, and blue ribbon pins will be available at both dining halls during the lunch hours.
  • Banners, in addition to 100 American flags, will be placed on each campus.

President Johnson Announces 225th Commencement Anniversary

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: October 9, 2012

This fall, Becker College officially launches its 225th Commencement Anniversary. The theme of this significant milestone in the College’s history, Celebrating a History of Changing Lives, focuses on all that has made Becker College a great institution for more than two centuries. In the months leading up to the culmination of this celebration—at our Commencement ceremony next May—you will learn much about the College, its people, and its achievements.

Since the time when John Hancock and Samuel Adams signed the charter for Leicester Academy and E.C.A. Becker opened Becker’s Business College, Becker College has attained a reputation second to none. This year we were honored with recognition as “one of the nation’s best undergraduate colleges” by The Princeton Review. Our video game design program has been ranked in the top 10 by The Princeton Review, called “a popular destination for prospective game designers” by U.S. News & World Report, and ranked #23 in the world by the Animation Career Review in its list of the “Top 100 Schools for Animation, Gaming, and Design.” Our nursing and animal studies programs are also distinguished by their excellence.

Over the centuries, our academic programming has kept pace with the evolving needs of society. Leicester Academy was the third preparatory school in Massachusetts, the first in Central Massachusetts, and the first in the Commonwealth to accept female students, which the Academy did from the very beginning. Becker’s Business College taught students bookkeeping, penmanship, and arithmetic, and also offered the first class in shorthand and typing in Worcester. The College served as the launch pad of other program “firsts”—the first major in journalism offered in the East (1937), the first retail merchandising program in Massachusetts (1950), and the first accredited associate degree in science, in veterinary technology, in Massachusetts (1978). Early human health care programs at the College included a medical secretarial course, which was introduced in 1938 and became a national model that attracted a large number of students.

Campus transformations over the years have created a superior learning and living environment on two distinctive campuses, offering students space in which they not only learn, but also grow. The opening of the new George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Campus Center on our Leicester Campus is further evidence of our commitment to our students and to ensuring that Becker College provides a first-class collegiate experience.

We will celebrate our 225th Commencement Anniversary in numerous ways in the weeks and months ahead. We have launched a new site,, which will be further built out during October to serve as a repository of historic information, profiles, achievements, images, stories, and more.

Some of the projects now underway that honor the theme of our 225th Commencement Anniversary, Celebrating a History of Changing Lives, and which will build and commemorate our historic resource include:

  • A display of artifacts from Becker’s past, in the display case on the first floor of the Fuller Campus Center. The first exhibit, “Student Life,” runs through October 28. Some items of interest include yearbooks, photos, a 19th-century course catalog, dance cards, beanies, a letter sweater, a cheerleader skirt, and pages from the Leicester Academy 1894 Entrance Examination. Other historically themed displays will follow throughout the academic year.
  • An historical retrospective that will showcase many of the significant achievements and people who have been important to Becker College over the years.
  • Creating a College Archive, along with a “Preserve Our Pride” campaign and call for artifacts and memorabilia from all eras, to help expand the Archive and increase our knowledge about our institutional heritage.
  • A special recently published 2012-13 wall calendar with images and facts from the present and the past.
  • A call for nominations for the most influential people in the College’s rich history, which has been shaped by many whose ideas, discoveries, and leadership have contributed to the growth and development of our institution. Some of their stories are well known—and some may not be. We wish to recognize all whose exceptional contributions have been seminal to Becker’s longevity and success.
  • A special Annual Fund campaign.

Our mission of delivering to each student a transformational learning experience—anchored by academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression—that prepares graduates to thrive, contribute to, and lead in a global society is as important today as the foundation that built Becker College centuries ago. Becker College has endured and grown through the hard work and dedicated commitment of its faculty, students, staff, and alumni. The progress that we have achieved and will continue to achieve in the future reflects our commitment to our values and our steadfast focus on education, innovation, and achievement.

For more information, or to learn about avenues for involvement, visit the website or contact any steering committee member: Amy Dean, Dean Hickey, Garrett Eastman, Nancy Richards, or Anne Sroka.

Storm Warning: President Johnson Blogs on Huffington Post

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: July 11, 2012

I am pleased to have been offered a new platform to discuss issues and ideas with broad local and global impact, with the launch of my blog on Huff Po College, a forum of opinions and perspectives on topics affecting higher education, on the news website, The Huffington Post.

Storm Warning: Why Higher Ed Needs New Leadership Now

A perfect storm roils the horizon of higher education. Three towering and swiftly moving storms—affordability, student loan debt, and seismically shifting demographics—are about to collide. The power of their convergence and the resulting collateral damage will challenge the very survival of colleges that refuse to evolve. The perfect storm will shake our industry to the core if we are not equally swift to throw off an outdated paradigm. A new generation of college presidents must step up to confront the turbulent landscape that will be the “new normal.”

Read more.

Becker Community Mourns the Loss of Professor John Dorsey

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: May 18, 2012

The Becker College community mourns the passing of John Dorsey, Esq., professor of law. For nearly 40 years, John was a dedicated member of our faculty who seamlessly wove his experience and expertise with a sense of humor. He tirelessly educated and encouraged his students, and heralded their success as alumni as they  attended graduate school, joined law firms, or started their own.  Throughout his career, John has been recognized for his excellence in teaching, including his inclusion on the Becker Wall of Honor in 2007 for this dedication and contributions to the College. John truly exemplified the Becker College spirit and pride. His voice, his humor, and his expertise will be sorely missed by our community.

Congratulations, Becker Game Students

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: April 18, 2012

I am pleased to congratulate the team of Becker College video game design and development students who won the grand prize, valued at more than $25,000, in the first-ever MassDiGI (Massachusetts Digital Games Institute) Game Challenge, held April 13-15 at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge, Mass.

Sophomores Chris Gengler, Emil Ritter, Ali Swei, Andrew Neimi, and Jonathan Neimi, known collectively as 80HD Games, took the top prize, as well as the title of Best Game Concept, for their game, “Nano Swarm.” The Boston Globe reported that the game was “cited for its vivid graphics and the potential to be played on touch-screen devices such as the iPad tablet computer from Apple Inc.”

Two additional teams of Becker students were also recognized. Zephyr—junior Breeze Grigas and freshman Jeffrey Garuti –was a runner-up in the Wow! This Could be Good category. Quark—juniors Bailey Applegate, and Thomas Bouwman-Wozencarft, and freshmen Curtis Geter, Alex Jersey, and Jason Tripp—received an honorable mention.

These achievements speak to the excellence of our video game design program—ranked in the top-10 nationally and #2 in Massachusetts—and to our dedicated students and faculty.


Global Citizenship Update and Survey

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: April 12, 2012

Since arriving at Becker, I have challenged the College community to educate students who can compete in a global society by instilling within the Becker College experience the three pillars of Global Citizenship: academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression. Last fall, we successfully delineated the College vision, mission, and core values—an essential antecedent to establishing an agenda for Global Citizenship at Becker.

It is now time to engage the campus community in exploring what it means to be a Global Citizen. Over the few next months, we will develop a global engagement strategy (to support Global Citizenship as key attribute of the Becker student experience) that is appropriate to our vision, mission, core values, and institutional capacity. Toward this end, we have recently established a Global Citizenship Task Force, crafted a working definition of Global Citizenship, and created a survey to support this effort. You can learn more about this initiative on the Global Citizenship webpage:

Today, we are launching the online Global Citizenship survey for faculty, staff, students, and alumni. This survey helps gather: baseline data about attitudes and preferences relative to Global Citizenship; data about activities engaged in, curricular or co-curricular, which support Global Citizenship; information about your personal/professional global experiences; and Global Citizenship resources across the campus community.

The survey runs through April 26, and I urge your participation. It may be accessed through the Global Citizenship webpage or via this direct link:

Building Global Citizenship into the fabric of the Becker College experience is an exciting and transformational initiative and I look forward to the good work that I know will come of our collective effort.

Becker College is one of Princeton Review's Best Colleges for 2013

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE: April 2, 2012

It is with great pride that I announce Becker College is one of six institutions to be added to The Princeton Review Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition. Becker College is about to be recognized as one of the best colleges in the country!

It is an honor to be selected from more than 2,000 colleges and universities monitored by The Princeton Review and to be included in a premier publication used by students and families in college planning.

Robert Franek, senior vice president /publisher of The Princeton Review, said of our selection, “We chose Becker College as one of our ‘best’ undergraduate colleges based on several factors we consider when reviewing schools for this book. First, we must have a high regard for their academic programs and other offerings. Second, our selections take into account institutional data we collect from the schools and the opinions of their students attending them whom we survey. We also greatly value the feedback we get about schools from our college-savvy staff across the country as well as from students, educators and parents who use our services and books. Only about 15% of the four-year colleges in the nation are in this book. In our opinion, these are ‘the crème of the crop’ institutions for undergraduates in America.”

In early December, The Princeton Review notified me that Becker College was under consideration to be featured in their 2013 publication. At the same time, we were launching our new vision, mission, and core values. The way that the campus community rallied around The Princeton Review survey was a testament to those values. More than 400 Becker students—nearly 30 percent—participated in the vital student survey portion of the ranking process. Vice President of Student Affairs Ken Cameron was informed that this number constitutes a high participation rate.

The Becker College two-page profile in the popular annual “best colleges” guidebook will be published in August 2012. I want to thank each and every one of you for the part you have played in making Becker College one of the nation’s best. I am honored to be part of this journey.

Head Start for 2013 Honorary Degrees

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE:  March 23, 2012

At Commencement each year, Becker College has traditionally awarded honorary degrees to one or more individuals who merit our highest honor. The College’s Board of Trustees is responsible for approving all honorary degree conferrals. At its March 9 meeting, the Board approved the conferral of one honorary doctoral degree for this year—to our 2012 Commencement speaker, Dom Sagolla.

Also at this meeting, the Board sought to clarify procedures for awarding future honorary degrees, and approved procedures and guidelines for nominating future honorary degree candidates, starting with nominees for our 2013 Commencement.

At its September 2012 meeting, the Board will select individuals to receive honorary degrees at our May 2013 Commencement from nominations formally submitted to the president by May 1, 2012.

All members of the campus community are encouraged to nominate worthy individuals for 2013 honorary degrees.  You may find attached a PDF of the nomination form, criteria, and instructions. This information is also available online at  where you may use the online nomination form if you prefer.

To receive full consideration, all nominations, with supporting materials, must be received by the President’s Office by May 1, 2012. If after reading the attached, you seek additional information, please contact Anne Sroka at 508-373-1905; email:

Becker College's ONE Chapter Leads in Improving Lives

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE:  March 20, 2012

I was pleased to learn that today the ONE chapter at Becker College ranked number one in the ONE Campus Challenge. (Click here to view the Top 25.)

The ONE Campus Challenge (OCC) is an intercollegiate competition designed to mobilize students in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Through life-saving actions, creative challenges and educational events, college students, professors, alumni and friends join together and urge political leaders to support smart and effective programs that save lives and improve futures for generations to come.

ONE at Becker College has scored a total of 5,921 points through a number of challenges, including a successful drive to collect old cell phones to be refurbished and given to health care workers in Kenya.

Through their hard work, the members of the ONE chapter have earned Becker College a place above more than 100 colleges and universities, including Seton Hall University, Bentley University, and the University of California – Irvine.

Congratulations to ONE Campus leader Becky Corbett; chapter officers Kat Crowley, Sam Syner, and Whitney Buck; and the entire ONE at Becker College chapter.

I am proud of this example of our core values in action—that, as educated persons, we have a responsibility not only to seek personal and professional success but also to contribute to a greater good.

Twitter Co-creator Dom Sagolla to Give Keynote Address at Becker College's 224th Commencement

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE:  March 19, 2012

I am very pleased to announce that Dom Sagolla, co-creator of the groundbreaking social media platform, Twitter, and author of 140 Characters: a Style Guide for the Short Form, will deliver the keynote address at Becker College’s 224th Commencement ceremony, to be held on Monday, May 14, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., at the Hanover Theatre in downtown Worcester.

Dom conveys what is best about the entrepreneurial spirit, and his achievements have served to create, unite, and inspire a global community. The Becker College Class of 2012 can look to benefit from his example as they embark on their own personal and professional journeys. A self-described leader by example, he was recently awarded the first International Genius Travel Grant by the City of Amsterdam and the Appsterdam Foundation, in recognition of his career and his contributions to the advancement of technology.

In the coming weeks, the Becker community will focus on celebrating the achievements of our graduating students and sending them off to take their places in the world as global citizens, at the beginning of a new journey, on which they will apply their knowledge and skills to change the world.

I invite you to visit the 2012 Commencement pages, at, for more information about Dom Sagolla and all Commencement 2012 activities.

PAX East Contributes $325,000 to MassDiGI

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE:  February 15, 2012

I am pleased to share with you news that PAX East organizer Reed Exhibitions has announced that PAX East will contribute $325,000 to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) at Becker College. The funds will be distributed over 11 years, with $50,000 in the first year.

MassDiGI executive director Tim Loew and I joined Reed Exhibitions Senior Vice President Greg Topalian, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, and Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Executive Director James E. Rooney at a press event today at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center where they announced the contribution, as well as a commitment to keep PAX East in Boston for the next 10 years. These announcements represent an important investment in digital games education and industry in Massachusetts.

In less than one year, MassDiGI has received significant funding—nearly $1 million—to support ongoing efforts to expand the digital game economy in Massachusetts. Working to that end, MassDiGI is focused on improving the business climate for game companies operating in the Commonwealth, while enhancing Becker’s nationally ranked game design program.

In the coming weeks, there will be much more digital games news to share, including the launch of new MassDiGI initiatives, and the 2012 Princeton Review ranking of our game design program. For the third year, Becker will showcase its interactive entertainment programs and student-created games with a booth at PAX East. A group of senior game design and development students—Matthew Hopkins, Ilir Mborja, and Cody Olivier, along with junior Anthony Botelho—have collaborated with Professor of Game Development Terrasa Ulm to create an original video game. Junior Nick Beatrice created a comic book featuring the game’s main character. The game and comic will be unveiled at PAX East, April 6-8, 2012.

The strength of the game development programs, faculty, and students have helped to make Becker a College on the move, a college that people are talking about—not just in Worcester and not just in Massachusetts or New England, but on a national level. I am pleased and proud of every accomplishment, and of every one of you, who help Becker College to fulfill our vision.

Becker College RN to BSN Program is a Candidate for Accreditation

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE:  February 1, 2012

We recently received the good news that the Becker College RN to BSN education program is a candidate for accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission, Inc. (NLNAC). This candidacy marks the beginning of the accreditation review process.

The department of nursing deserves congratulations for this significant recognition of our RN to BSN program. Dr. Linda Esper and Dr. Margery Orr are to be commended for their leadership in this effort. It is also a reflection of the excellence of nursing education at Becker College. In fact, out of 35 programs, our nursing program ranks #7 in Massachusetts for its institutional NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) pass rate.

Becker College nursing graduates have gone on to successful careers in emergency rooms, intensive care units, medical/surgical units, and more, at St. Vincent Hospital and University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Worcester; Milford Regional Medical Center; Hartford Hospital, in Connecticut; and at healthcare facilities throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Students in the RN to BSN program work with experienced and accomplished faculty in a collaborative learning environment using state-of-the-art technology. The Becker College simulation lab—a model hospital room with SimMan® and other manikin patients—enhances nursing education and bedside care through simulated real-life healthcare scenarios that are recorded and discussed in the classroom. In addition to their academic work, our nursing students often engage in community outreach efforts, including health screenings, and organize projects and events that promote community health.

The Becker community should be proud of the College’s forward momentum in this area. This accomplishment helps to strengthen our position as an institution that focuses on delivering to the world highly educated, responsible citizens, prepared to contribute to a global society and rise to the top of their chosen professions.

Becker College Vision, Mission, and Core Values

FROM: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
DATE:  December 15, 2011

On December 2, the Board of Trustees formally adopted the College’s new mission statement:

The mission of Becker College is to deliver to each student a transformational learning experience—anchored by academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression—that prepares students to thrive, contribute to, and lead in a global society.

At that meeting, I also presented to the board our recently formulated core values. (See below). This meeting marked a milestone in our journey to align and integrate vision, mission, core values, and strategic goals—all of which enhance our brand and visibility and better position us now and for the future. The board engaged in an enthusiastic discussion of these topics and what they mean for the College’s future direction. Vision, mission, and core values—our guiding principles—work in concert to ensure the best possible student experience; it is critical that they are articulated, congruent, embraced, and acted upon by all members of the campus community. I believe we are well on our way.

The framework for developing these began after I arrived on campus in summer 2010 when I challenged each of you to think more broadly about the value and outcomes of a Becker College education and to consider how to strategically align our work with the three pillars of global citizenship: academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression. In spring 2011, I held small group and online campus conversations that provided an open, inclusive process to inform a shared vision. Later, I appointed a Mission Statement Committee, uniting administrators and faculty for the purpose of crafting of a new mission statement, and a Core Values Committee that worked to identify and articulate our core values. I solicited feedback for these at several campus meetings and forums. How they work in concert:

  • Our vision defines our desired future state in terms of a fundamental objective or strategic direction. It is a long-term view that we strive to achieve.
  • Our mission describes our fundamental purpose as an institution, succinctly describing why we exist and what we do to achieve our vision.
  • Our core values are the beliefs (guiding principles) that unite us as a collective body and guide our daily interactions to ensure the best possible student experience and campus culture.
  • Our FY12 agenda of eight strategic goals aims to inspire innovative, entrepreneurial initiatives and strengthen College operations. These goals are supported by 42 tactics, which are underpinned by 163 sub-tactics (by division). Collectively, they form our FY12 Work Plan.

Core Values

Our new core values support our belief in the transformational power of a college education and its ability to impart knowledge and enlightenment to a global society. We believe higher education is a privilege, and that an educated person has a responsibility to not only seek personal and professional success but also to contribute to a greater good. The following six values support this belief.

  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Community and Diversity
  • Social Responsibility
  • Integrity
  • Creative Expression

Our core values, which are fundamental to our success, provide a filter through which actions may be weighed. They empower the decision-making process at all levels, provide a matrix for an institutional business model, drive what we do and how we do it, define institutional culture, and influence our reputation.

Next steps

Beginning in January, our vision, mission, and core values will be reinforced throughout campus via posters, fliers, and other materials. I encourage you to display these and to share them with our students, prospective students, campus visitors, and those in the community. Throughout the semester, I will address each of our core values in the President’s Blog. I encourage you to contribute to these blogs with examples of how you and others in your department demonstrate or exemplify these values.

Please know that throughout the process of establishing our vision, mission, and core values, all of your voices have mattered. I am deeply appreciative of the feedback I received and for your dedication and commitment to creating an institution second to none. I encourage you to use them as your guide in the important work you do for our institution—inside and outside the classroom.

Together, and with our vision, mission, and core values serving as our beacon, we will make Becker College the institution we aspire it to be.  And, as we move into the next calendar year, these will provide a firm foundation for exploring further what global citizenship means at Becker.

Becker College Receives $1.9 million Title III Grant

FROM: President Robert E. Johnson
DATE:  October 5, 2011

On September 20, U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (MA-3) was on campus to announce that Becker has received a five-year $1,900,000 federal grant administered by the U.S. Department of Education under the Strengthening Institutions Program. This is exciting news for Becker because of our success in securing our first competitive federal Title III grant and because it will greatly enhance our programs and services that prepare first-time, first-year students for success.

The grant will be used to fund Becker’s “From At-Risk to Success” program, a comprehensive and coordinated effort to better prepare enrolled students for academic success. The targeted programs include expanding dual enrollment with area high schools; increasing the number of foundational courses and first-year course assistants; technology to support course content;  expanding existing advising, tutoring, and mentoring programs; and growing Becker’s “Living and Learning Communities,” where students in similar programs are housed together to take advantage of peer and supplementary academic support.

Most of the elements of the grant proposal were developed based on pilot initiatives which have shown positive results.  We are excited to be able to expand these initiatives to reach more students and to have a more substantial impact on student success and retention.  Since several of the strategies in these initiatives also build on the skills of our current students as leaders and mentors, we expect the secondary impact will be substantial as well.

In his remarks, Congressman McGovern commended the college for its work preparing students for long-term academic and real-world success, noting that these federal funds make an immediate impact on expanding student success and preparation programs, which further the college mission of getting students ready for the global future. The grant is anticipated to be distributed over five years, with $400,000 in the first budget period.

I wish to commend our staff who contributed to this successful grant application, which represents a detailed and explicit project plan, with budgets and timelines for achieving the goals outlined within the proposal. It was no small undertaking. Kudos to: Ken Cameron, Brian Chambers, Paul Chase, Betsy Fuller, Kathy Garvey, Anita Johnson, Patti Kalinowski, Sandy Lashin-Curewitz, Tim Loew, Sarah Mosier, Tyrone Newsome, Dolores Radlo, Eric Saczawa, Maria Vita-Calkins, and Linda Grace, as well as Dona Alpert of Sungard.

This Strengthening Institutions funding goes far in building student success and supporting every student’s potential for success. We should be proud of this significant opportunity to build our capacity for delivering to the world highly-educated global citizens, able to rise to the top of their careers.

September 11 Observance

FROM: President Robert E. Johnson
DATE:  September 1, 2011

Ten years ago, on September 11, our country and our way of life were challenged by terrorists who hijacked four airplanes and killed nearly 3,000 people in the most deadly act of terrorism ever to take place on American soil. Many families and friends paid a very dear price that day, losing loved ones who were working or otherwise going about their daily affairs. In addition, emergency personnel and others risked or lost their lives to save the lives of their fellow citizens.

To honor and remember those lost on that day, Becker College will observe September 11 with three events:

Friday, 9/9 – at 11:00 a.m., we will observe a moment of silence and reflection. I ask that each of you stop what you are doing when signaled and honor those lost on 9/11 by remembering that day. Student representatives will signal the start of the moment of silence by ringing bells on the Worcester campus quad and in the Leicester campus grove.

Saturday, 9/10 – Ten minutes before the start of the Becker vs. MIT football game, we will hold a brief program where representatives from the Becker student body and I will speak.  The game begins at noon in Leicester, and I invite each of you to attend.

Sunday, 9/11 – We will hold a candlelight vigil on the Worcester campus quad at 8:30 p.m., after the SGA meeting.

Our community and our world changed forever on that tragic day in history. It is my hope that, by remembering that day, we honor our fellow citizens who were lost and bring some measure of comfort to their families.