NASHUA - Rivier College is pleased to announce that it will officially become a university on July 1, 2012. New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Virginia M. Barry Ph.D. granted the approval for this status change from college to university last week.
“This is a big step forward for Rivier,” says Dr. Jamison G. Hoff, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “University status is a natural fit and it reflects our mission of, “Transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.” Becoming a university will open doors as we pursue global initiatives and partnerships that will truly benefit our students.”
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, who became the Rivier College President in August, 2011, has made pursuit of this new designation a cornerstone of her strategic plan, maintaining that “university” is a more accurate depiction of the institution.
“With more than 60 academic programs, including the state of New Hampshire’s first doctorate of education, and more than 800 graduate students,” she says, “university status will more adequately represent the caliber of our faculty and graduates, as well as the quality of our academic offerings.”
While the official name change will occur on July 1, Rivier is already engaged in transforming the public image of the institution and promoting its new profile.
On May 12, 2012, at its 77th and last commencement as a college, Rivier will welcome keynote speaker, Dr. John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University. Dr. DeGioia will launch the new name by offering a welcome from America’s oldest Catholic University to Rivier as its newest American Catholic University.
In 1933, Rivier College was founded by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and members of this order reside in 20 countries around the world. According to Sister Paula Marie Buley, global initiatives and student opportunities for global engagement are a top priority for Rivier University.
The new university currently offers two degrees in global studies and transnational security. It is also in the process of hiring its first Associate Vice President of Global Engagement responsible for managing agreements with international universities and creating international service experiences and internships.
“In order for Rivier to engage in a global environment, our name must reflect that of a post-secondary institution of higher education and this designation distinguishes it from secondary institutions around the world,” she says. “The move to Rivier University will broaden the institution’s profile beyond its Nashua campus, offering students an opportunity to learn on a global level.”