As we transition into a new year, we feel gratitude for our familiar friends and established relationships while eagerly embracing new colleagues, new ideas and new visions.
We recently welcomed three new deans to Sage, each of whom brings a key skill to a management team that has led our College to record enrollments; unprecedented alumni and friend support; and success in the classroom, in the community and on the playing fields. At Russell Sage College, we welcome Donna Heald, Ph.D., a specialist in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), while Sage College of Albany is becoming acquainted with Joanne Curran, Ph.D., whose interests in assessment, interdisciplinary education and creativity mesh perfectly with the mission of the campus. Also in Albany, new dean Albert Orbinati, an expert in adult education and online learning, is making sweeping changes to the program formerly known as Sage After Work and now more appropriately renamed the School of Professional and Continuing Education.
In Troy, the total renovation of the RSC library has been completed on time, on budget and to enthusiastic reception from the Sage community. The Shea Learning Center – as the library is now known – boasts small and large group work spaces equipped with state-of-the-art technology, a café, more comfortable seating and enhanced study spaces, all made possible through a gift from former Russell Sage student Lucile Rosenfeld Shea.
Meanwhile, less than one year since we acquired the New Scotland Avenue Armory adjacent to the Albany campus, 21,000-square-feet of this seemingly endless structure has been transformed into classroom, office and student-gathering space. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies has relocated to the Armory at Sage, and we are considering a number of possibilities for the remainder of the space. The “shed,” an enormous open area that once housed tanks, troops and trucks, offers possibilities limited only by our imagination and our pocketbook.
Of course, without students, faculty and staff, these are just buildings. It is this community dedicated to learning that makes Sage the vibrant, exciting, force of creativity that you recall and that I experience every day. Whether it is our women’s tennis team trouncing the four-time defending champions of the Skyline Conference, RSC hosting C-SPAN as part of the network’s “First Ladies: Influence and Image” series, the Opalka Gallery hosting an unprecedented 800 visitors at the opening night of “An Armory Show,” the Theatre Institute at Sage’s staging of Les Misérables with two of the original Broadway leads, or the more than 400 students who worked on community projects during our annual Sage Engaged day, we are always moving forward.
Mirroring the world around us, we are a vibrant, evolving collection of minds and hearts that values and is informed by our past, even as we eagerly seek to play pivotal roles in shaping the future. You were, are and will be crucial to our ability to achieve this ambitious goal. Your Sage says thank you.