This letter from Lenoir-Rhyne University President Dr. Fred Whitt was sent to students on Aug. 6, 2019.To New and Returning LR Students,
Greetings! As summer winds down, I know that you are eagerly preparing for the start of the fall semester. I would like to welcome our first-year students and welcome back our returning students for the start of the 128th year at Lenoir-Rhyne.
One of my goals since becoming Lenoir-Rhyne University president two years ago has been to enhance the institution's support of the Office of Student Life and to make continuing improvements to the overall student experience. In fact, providing an exceptional experience is one of the four themes of our new strategic plan. Recently, we have taken steps to make this goal a reality.
Since 2017, more than $30 million has been invested in spaces on the Hickory campus. We have installed air-conditioning in Shuford and Moretz Gymnasium; opened the Alex and Lee George Hall, home to the School of Natural Sciences; completed the 4th Street apartment-style residence hall; installed a new surface to our track and field complex; constructed an addition to our Music Building; and completed the renovations to the dining hall in the Cromer Center.
In addition, we have begun or plan to begin other projects and initiatives on campus primarily targeted to enhance the experience of our students, including the support of student success. Examples of these projects and initiatives for 2019-20 include:
- Expanding food service options with the addition of a made-to-order, fast casual restaurant in Fritz-Conrad residence hall and a full-service Chick-fil-A restaurant (with extended hours) in the Bears Lair of the Cromer Center
- Adding a new student lounge/gathering area in Fritz-Conrad for commuter and residential students
- Installing new, free-to-use washing machines and dryers in residence areas
- Improving security on the Hickory campus through improved and additional lighting and security cameras
- Providing Hickory Police Department officers on campus as part of our LR security team through a partnership with the city of Hickory
- Upgrading the Student Success and Retention offices and relocating them to the Daniel Rhyne Building
- Providing two full-time staff members—Dr. Momodu Taylor and Jillian Guinn—to support student activities and expand student programming
- Initiating a Graduate School concept for graduate studies, including enhanced staffing and moving to a new location in the Dassow University Commons
- Continuing to offer complimentary admission to all LR home athletic and cultural events
- Continuing to offer undergraduate students an on-campus, free health clinic staffed with primary health-care providers through a partnership with Catawba Valley Medical Center
- Continuing to offer students on-campus, free professional counseling services
- Continuing to offer students on-campus, complimentary printing services
To help fund moving forward with these initiatives, the LR board of trustees approved this week a one-time student services enhancement fee of $300 per semester for the 2019-20 academic year. This fee will apply to all full-time undergraduate and all graduate students on the Hickory campus and will be added to student statements.
While we are adding this fee, we are committed to making a Lenoir-Rhyne education as affordable as possible. Our increase in costs to students the past two years has been among the lowest among our peers in North Carolina. We will work with students who need assistance with this fee to identify payment options.
If you have questions about payment options or your student account, please contact Janet McKee, director of student accounts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.328.7705 or in person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Business Office on the second floor of the Lineberger Administration Building.
If you have questions about your financial aid package, please contact Libby Richardson in the Office of Financial Aid.
You can reach her at email@example.com or 828.328.7303 or in person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Lohr Hall.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Lenoir-Rhyne and its vital mission. I hope you know I remain committed to you and enhancing the LR experience for all students and LR.
Thank you and Go Bears!
Dr. Fred Whitt, President