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DEFYING THE ODDS

Iona College was on the front lines of COVID-19
when the virus first hit New Rochelle in March
2020. Hailed as the “first to close, first to reopen,”
Iona nevertheless pushed ahead on its path of
innovation. Today, Iona has emerged as an
anomaly in higher education, with new-student
enrollment spiking 32 percent in two years.

“This is an exciting time to be a Gael. As our
community grows, we continue to evolve and
develop new opportunities to make sure our
students succeed both in the classroom and
beyond,” said Seamus Carey, Ph.D., president of
Iona. “At the same time, we remain committed
to our core values, developing graduates who are
recognized for their ethics, creativity and enduring integration of mind, body and spirit.

Fueled in part by the addition of new academic
programs as well as expanded student activities all
across campus, Iona’s growth comes as the College
prepares to nearly double its footprint. In May,
Iona finalized plans to acquire a 28-acre campus
in nearby Bronxville, N.Y., formerly home to
Concordia College. Building on that momentum,
Iona in July also announced a $20 million gift
from NewYork-Presbyterian to help establish the
NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health
Sciences on its new campus.

Among other programs, new academic degrees
recently added include a Bachelor of Science
in Nursing, with both a traditional, four-year
undergraduate program as well as an accelerated,
15-month program for those with a bachelor’s
degree in another field. In addition, the Hynes
Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
launched its first two majors – a Bachelor of Arts
in Entrepreneurial Leadership and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship.

Additionally, building on its legacy and launching boldly into the future, Iona cut the ribbon on a completely renovated and state-of-the-art LaPenta School of Business in January 2020, welcoming a new school dean, Dr. Lynne Richardson, this past summer.

As part of the College’s commitment to developing the whole student, Iona also expanded opportunities in performing arts across dance, theatre, orchestra, choir and more, highlighted by the College’s first Irish Dance Ensemble. Similarly, Iona introduced a new Club Sports program. Seven clubs launched this fall, including men’s and women’s soccer and basketball, men’s rugby and lacrosse, co-ed weightlifting, and esports.

Meanwhile, Iona is beautifying the heart of its New Rochelle campus, recently breaking ground on the “Murphy Green,” which will add a vibrant social hub for outdoor activity by Spring 2022. The campus beautification project was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Joseph M. Murphy ’59, ’83H and his late wife, JoAnn M. Murphy ’98H, a longtime Iona trustee.

Iona has long been renowned for its Division I
Athletics program. Now, all eyes are on Iona and its new Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino. After taking the Gaels to the Big Dance in March, Pitino is eager to claim the team’s 14th MAAC Championship and go further in the NCAA tournament than Iona ever has before.

All of these efforts continue to bring Iona national recognition. Among its many accolades, Iona was recently named as a “Top 20 Most Innovative School” in the north by U.S. News & World Report. Other notable rankings include The Princeton Review 2022 Best Northeastern Colleges, Forbes 2021 Top Colleges, and The Wall Street Journal/THE 2022 College Ranking List.

The value of an Iona education was also highlighted by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), which ranked Iona in the top six percent of all 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide based on its long-term return on investment. This was reinforced by Money.com’s ranking of “Most
Transformative Colleges,” which ranked Iona at #19 nationally.

We are so pleased to see interest in Iona College continue to soar,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, senior vice president for Enrollment and Student Affairs. “Our significant increase in enrollment over the past two years – despite the challenges presented by the pandemic – demonstrates the belief in the value of an Iona education.”

U.S. News & World Report

Iona College President Seamus Carey, Ph.D.,
was unequivocal when he took the helm in
July 2019: Iona must innovate to overcome the headwinds facing the higher education industry.

Today, guided by that mindset and the Iona
mission, the College is celebrating its
emergence at the #20 spot in U.S. News
& World Report’s list of “Most Innovative Schools” in the north region.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the most innovative institutions in higher education,” Carey said. “The success Iona is experiencing is due to the hard work of our faculty, staff and Board of Trustees, as well as the character and perseverance of our students. It feels as though we’re only just getting started.”

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