President’s Welcome

Centre offers its students a world of opportunities, and one that might best be characterized as an adventure, highlighted by one of the nation’s premier study abroad programs and a record of postgraduate success.

Over the last decade, an average 85 percent of students studied abroad at least once during their four years at Centre. And over the last three years, an average 96 percent of graduates are employed or pursuing advanced degrees within a year of graduation.

Prestigious fellowships are also won on a regular basis. Rhodes Scholarship recipients, three Goldwater winners in the last five years, and the College’s first Gates Cambridge and Boren scholars highlight Centre’s stellar academic achievements. Rotary awards for international postgraduate study have also been won the last three years, and Centre is consistently among the nation’s top Fulbright producers. I’m quick to add, however, that all of Centre’s graduates are accomplished people positioned to be citizen-leaders in whatever work they might choose.

For educational adventure, we offer permanent, semester-long residential study abroad programs in China, England (three options), France, Germany, Japan, Mexico (two options), Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Spain. Shorter three-week programs in January explore an ever-increasing number of countries, such as Barbados, Belgium, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, New Zealand, Peru, Rwanda, Spain, Thailand, and Uganda.

Of our most recent graduates, 87 percent of the Class of 2016 studied abroad once, 28 percent studied abroad two or three times, and three students actually studied abroad four times. In all, the class as a whole spent a combined 2,268 weeks abroad during their four years at Centre.

Related, a new semester-long study away program in Washington, D.C., has been so successful that a second program has been added in Chicago, and both include internship components. I believe this program will become, in time, another signature element in the College’s offerings.

International study, undergraduate research, and internships are so integral to a Centre education that together they comprise the “Centre Commitment,” which guarantees study abroad, an internship or research opportunity, and graduation in four years, or Centre will provide up to one more year of tuition for free. Centre was among the very first colleges to make such a “commitment,” and it is one on which we deliver.

An average 82 percent of Centre graduates from the Class of 2015 participated in either an internship and/or an undergraduate research experience, opportunities that have helped students find their first post-graduation jobs or entrance into an ideal graduate program, law school, or medical school.

These opportunities take place during the academic year and in the summer. This past summer, for instance, many of our students were off-campus for internships (traveling to 14 states and Washington, D.C., as well as to 11 countries), while others were on campus for local internships, collaborative research projects, or service programs.

The majority of our students doing internships abroad this past summer were in Central and South America, working in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Peru. Others were elsewhere across the globe, in Croatia, Ghana, India, and Vietnam.

Those on campus conducted internships here in Danville in areas such as banking and finance, medicine, law, and the arts. Others conducted collaborative research with faculty in many different areas, including art history, behavioral neuroscience, biology, chemistry, Chinese, economics, environmental studies, music, and religion, just to name a few.

Of course, cost is a very serious consideration, but I would insist that a college education is the best and most important investment in your future.

A place of high achievement as well as high opportunity, Centre’s exceptional commitment to remaining affordable is made possible in part by legions of devoted alumni. For over three decades, more than half of living alumni have made an annual gift to the College. Parent and senior class gifts have also recently hit the 50 percent mark.

In addition, Centre’s three premier scholarships (Brown, Grissom, and Lincoln) all cover full tuition or better, and the College’s annual institutional aid budget exceeds $25 million.

Finally, I would say that Centre is also a place where important conversations take place in and out of the classroom. In 2012, for the second time in a dozen years, Centre’s Norton Center for the Arts was the setting for the nation’s only Vice Presidential Debate. The Norton Center has also featured recent visits by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Blue Man Group, Alison Krauss and Union Station, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and the late Nobel prize-winner Elie Wiesel, to name a few.

As you can see, learning at Centre takes place in and outside of the classroom, involves experiential and community-based opportunities, and encourages the pushing of boundaries. That’s because Centre College is committed to educating global citizens who are prepared to contribute meaningfully in a diverse marketplace of ideas where innovation and creativity are influenced by a broad array of perspectives.

We want our graduates not just to be able to thrive in such a setting; we want them to be prepared to assume leadership roles because of what they’ve experienced on our campus, in their classes, in their everyday interactions with our faculty and staff, and when they study abroad.

Our trustees, faculty, staff, and current students are all committed to a campus culture characterized by hard work, play, accomplishment, and kindness. Come join us for this educational adventure we call the Centre Experience. We will not disappoint!

My best,

John A. Roush