Duquesne University has moved into the top tier ranking of universities, passed muster with five independent assessments, set new records for external grants and funding for research, and initiated conferences of national importance in the past year. President Charles J. Dougherty shared these and other successes of the past year at the University’s annual convocation today, reviewing more steps forward with the opening of the multi-use Power Center on Forbes Avenue and enhancements to the physical, academic and spiritual aspects of campus.
“These achievements are not, and could not be, the achievements of just a few,” Dougherty said. “They are the achievements of all of us working together for our students and for the common good. … And for all of us, as we celebrate our 130th year, I also express our profound gratitude for the generations who came before us at Duquesne and whose selfless work on our Bluff has made our contributions possible.”
In the past year, Duquesne:
- Moved into the top national tier of U.S.News & World Report college rankings.
- Received accolades from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for the Duquesne mission being central to student experience and a developing national reputation.
- Received an A-rating with a positive outlook from Standard and Poor’s, with the report citing “solid financial performance” and “a seasoned management team with success in achieving strategic initiatives.”
- Received an A2 rating from Moody’s, with reported strengths cited as “healthy growth in financial resources” and “healthy market franchise.”
- Received the best possible ratings from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
- Boosted the academic culture through hosting national conferences and meetings of professional societies and garnering a record $13.2 million in external funding to promote research and scholarship. Various schools also established new programs online and partnerships with geographic neighbors, such as Pittsburgh Public Schools. For instance, Duquesne was chosen as one of four universities to host the Summer Research Fellowships for High School Teachers.
- Adopted an ambitious summer construction program, including renewal of Canevin Hall, reconstruction of an Academic Walk fountain, renovating Rooney Field, the Student Union and Gumberg Library.
- Installed an eco-friendly ice storage system that, in tandem with the natural gas cogeneration plant, effectively heats, cools and powers most of campus.
As Duquesne moves forward in this new academic year, Dougherty commented on the unique status of Duquesne and its six generations of caring for students, as well as extending hands to those living in the margins of Pittsburgh and locations around the world.
“There is no other Spiritan university in the world; we alone are academic heirs to the Spiritans’ selfless concern for others, ecumenism and inclusiveness, and commitment to academic excellence,” Dougherty said. “Each year here has brought me to a deeper conviction that, at Duquesne, we are, together, doing the work of the Holy Spirit.