LeMoyne College President Lives By Her Students
Located in Syracuse, New York, LeMoyne College is a smaller Jesuit school with around 2,700 undergraduates. It’s one of only 27 Jesuit colleges in our country, one of three in New York. Canisius College in Buffalo and Fordham University in the Big Apple are the others.
I only recently came to learn about LeMoyne College. Dr. Linda LeMura, the college’s president, moved into a house near campus, and her students nearby. She made this decision to help her help her students, over half on campus, keep the community safe in a COVID reality.
Dr. LeMura and Dr. Timothy Lee, Vice President, Enrollment Management, were kind enough to talk to me about the college and community.
I invite you to learn about how she has led her college during a pandemic that has forced so many schools to have their students take their education at home or in housing with their friends.
Dr. LeMura is native to New York State. She earned her Bachelor’s in Biology and Education from Niagara University and masters and doctoral degrees in Physiology from Syracuse University. While other colleges recruit their presidents from other schools, Dr. LeMura was already working at LeMoyne as the college’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Originally hired of dean for arts and science, Dr. LeMura has been at LeMoyne since 2003. As president, Dr. LeMura has expanded the college’s offerings in business and the health professions, among other accomplishments. Most important, she is the first female layperson to become president of a Jesuit college in the United States.
Before reading an Inside Higher Education story, I knew next to nothing about LeMoyne College, other than its location in Syracuse. I can imagine that it’s tough to stand out among colleges with more famous names in New York State and the Jesuit community. But LeMoyne College does a good job of getting the word out and guiding students to a degree.
Since Dr. LeMura arrived at LeMoyne College in 2003, undergraduate enrollment has grown from 2,400 to 2,700. More interesting, the number of applications for the freshman class rose from fewer than 3,000 to more than 7,300.
Freshmen retention has been around 87 percent for several years, quite good for a private college in a very competitive market for students. LeMoyne graduated 70 percent of the freshmen who arrived in 2012 and 65 percent who graduated in 2013. Compared to public colleges in New York, only two have done better: Binghamton University and SUNY Geneseo. The college attracts a B+ student. The middle 50 percent who arrived in 2018 scored between 1090 and 1270 on the SAT and between 22 and 28 on the ACT.
LeMoyne is test optional, and offers generous merit scholarships, not dependent on test scores. The school listed a sample of three on their Web site. LeMoyne College competes in NCAA Division II athletics, so there are athletic awards as well. Eighty-five percent of the freshmen who arrived in 2018 received need-based scholarships. This college charged slightly less than $50,000 in direct charges. A fair number of students paid close to, possibly less, than they might have paid to attend a public college.
LeMoyne College created Promise NY, which offers an automatic scholarship of $10,000/year on top of any other merit based aid the student receives, and you don’t need to be a New Yorker to receive it.
There’s other benefits to Promise NY besides the scholarship. They include a commitment to help students graduate on time, mentoring and internship opportunities and a preparatory job interview.
LeMoyne College has 30 undergraduate majors. It’s one of the smallest colleges to have its own business school. LeMoyne also offers accelerated paths to a law degree at four New York law schools. There are also direct entry paths to a Masters in Occupational Therapy , an MS in Physician’s Assistant Studies and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. LeMoyne also has three opportunities to pursue a Bachelors in Nursing. One is for community college grads; the others offer a high school graduate a chance to earn the degree in three or four years. The mix of majors proves one thing: a small, regional college can thrive, if it offers programs that are highly desired in its market.
Listen to Dr. LeMura and Dr. Lee as they tell you about the college’s strengths, especially as a community.
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