Monday Morning Update

January 13, 2014

Solar Field: Stonehill’s new solar field will save $3.2 million over 15 years and account for 20% of our electrical usage. Located across from campus on Route 138, the 15-acre solar field is 2.7 megawatts in size and has 9,000 solar panels, making it the 11th (tied) largest solar installation on a college campus nationwide and the largest on a New England college campus according to the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education database. This initiative aligns with our commitment as a Catholic college to be good stewards of our natural resources and with our strategic goal of building a stronger sustainability culture on campus. For more, visit here.

Energy Efficient:  Thanks to recent upgrades, we are reducing consumption of natural gas & electricity while cutting costs. Energy Manager Jessa Gagne reports that a campus energy audit targeted the Dining Commons, Martin Institute and the Science Center, our most technically complex building, for energy upgrades. With incentive funding from utility providers, we took conservation measures in these buildings that will reduce electrical consumption by 1.11 million kilowatt-hours per year and natural gas by more than 60,000 therms. As a result, we expect savings of $180,000 per year. More energy upgrades are scheduled for the year ahead.

New Worlds: In 1971, John F. Stack, Jr. ’72 attended the National Model United Nations in New York City. There, students acted as U.N. delegates, researching and creating political positions based on real issues and countries. As he explored global questions and the art of diplomacy & compromise, the political science major did not imagine that one day he would direct a top academic program dedicated to international relations. Today, he is the Executive Director of the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences there. Stack credits his Stonehill professors for opening new worlds for him. To learn how they nurtured his passion for international relations, visit here.

Leap of Faith: Teaching English in Ecuador as part of WorldTeach, an international service program, Brianna Lertora '13 refuses to let fears prevent her from taking risks. Since graduation, she has experienced professional and personal setbacks. Yet, as the former Summit writer and communication major has persevered, she has learned she can handle whatever life throws at her. In the online publication Elephant Journal, she recently wrote, "Every challenge has taught me to trust myself, and has shown me how much I have to be grateful for." To read her essay, Fear Will Not Guide My Path, visit here. To read her travel blog, visit here.

A Face in the Crowd: If you flipped through the December 30th issue of Sports Illustrated, you probably saw a familiar face. Featured in a special coaches' edition of the magazine’s “Faces in the Crowd” section was Head Football Coach Robert Talley who led the Skyhawks to their first winning season since 1996 and a share of the Northeast-10 regular season title. Talley is the 13th representative from the Stonehill athletics department, and first head coach, to be recognized in "Faces in the Crowd."

Mary Shields: With the death last Tuesday of Mary Shields, the College has lost a friend who knew and loved Stonehill very much, especially its students. The mother of two alumni, William ’84 and Thomas ’92 and one trustee, Carmel Shields, she was also the wife and trusted business partner of Thomas F. Shields, former Chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees. The Shields Scholarship that Mary and Tom established has helped more than 125 Stonehill students. The $7 million gift they made in support of the Thomas and Mary Shields Science Center remains the largest in the College’s history.

Shields & Students: Every year, Mary and Tom met with the recipients of the Shields Scholarships over dinner on campus and that event was a highlight for the couple. As Tom once explained, “On the way home in the car, Mary and I have the best conversations as we discuss what the students have told us over dinner. The buzz is great, and we are always invigorated by their stories and by what they are achieving. It is a joyful occasion because the students are wonderful ambassadors for the quality of a Stonehill education.” Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shields family at this time. To see a photo tribute to Mary Shields, visit here.