Monday Morning Update

June 10, 2013

Solar Farm: Later this year, the College will start developing a solar farm on the David Ames Clock Farm, adjacent to the Facilities headquarters on Washington Street across from campus. Planning began two years ago for this project, which is part of our Stonehill Goes Green initiative. The 2.7 megawatt solar farm will sit on a 15 acre lot and is expected to generate 20 percent of our electrical usage with anticipated energy savings of $146,000 per year or $2.2 million during the 15-year agreement with our partners, Solect Energy, Power Management Company and Invaleon Solar Technologies.

Reunion Romance: They started dating their senior year, and, on the Friday night of Reunion 2013, Michael Betschart ’08 chose Stonehill as the location to propose to Ashley Danella ’08 who said yes. For more fun facts from Reunion 2013 and to see a photo of the happy couple, visit here.

Book Drive: When Communication Professor Wanjiru Mbure launched a book drive in March for a children's library that she started in her native Kenya, our community delivered. As a result, more than 760 children's books are on their way to Ngegu village in central Kenya. Later this summer, when Professor Mbure visits Kenya, she will collect the books and bring them to Ngegu's Shilling Library which serves about 60 local children. In thanking the Stonehill community, Professor Mbure noted the special contribution of Paul Cusano ’94, his wife Sue and their daughter Emily who attends St. Jerome elementary school in Weymouth. Working with the staff and children at St. Jerome, they collected 515 of the 760 books. Professor Mbure hailed the overall response as incredible, noting, “I am truly blessed to be part of such a caring community."

Managing Student Debt: Nationally, student debt for college seniors graduating with loans now exceeds $26,000 and roughly 17 percent of borrowers were 90 days or more behind in payments by the end last year. With a 1.7 default rate, Stonehill graduates are below the national average default rate of 13.4. Nevertheless, the College recognizes the gravity of student debt, which is why it has partnered with the American Student Assistance (ASA) group. ASA offers a student loan management and financial literacy program. Called SALT, the program is available free of charge to all Stonehill alumni and current students. For more, visit here.

Man of the Year: Ice hockey captain Dana Borges ’13 has been named the inaugural Northeast-10 Conference’s Man of the Year for his collective achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics. A decorated athlete and aleader in theclassroom, Borges graduated magna cum laude as a criminology major & political science minor. He has signed a professional contract to play for Les Peaux Rouges in France’s Division 2 ice hockey league. For more on Borges, visit here.

Democratic Edge: In its recent story on the U.S. Senate debate between Ed Markey (Democrat) and Gabriel Gomez (Republican), the New York Times noted that Political Scientist Peter Ubertaccio felt the debate might have marginally helped Gomez, a newcomer to politics, by giving him visibility. However, the paper went on to quote Ubertaccio as saying, “But ultimately, the debate won’t change the contours of this race. It will remain a low-turnout affair. The parties’ abilities to turn out their voters will be of paramount importance, and in Massachusetts, the Democrats have the edge.” In addition to the NYT, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg News and WBUR radio have all sought perspective on this race from Professor Ubertaccio.