Home Issue 6 - Fall 2016

Issue 6 - Fall 2016

Marymount Momentum

The 2016-17 academic year has already proven to be an exciting one. I am pleased to share with you highlights of great progress in vital areas of our University life:

Our profile on the higher education landscape, campus development, our alumni, record enrollment, the  launch of an ambitious capital campaign, our mission for our programs to serve our community and our Catholic identity.

Our Enrollment

In Service to Our Students: Record Freshman Enrollment

A record number of freshmen enrolled at Marymount for the 2016-17 academic year to start their own MU journey.

The Registrar’s Office reports that 442 freshmen enrolled for 2016 fall semester (13% of our total student population) representing a 12.4% increase over 2015-16 academic year and a 17.9% 5-year increase.

Our Admissions department launched a groundbreaking enrollment marketing campaign, Find Your It!, in early 2016 to promote the Marymount educational experience to high schoolers with a digital, cross-device media plan. The plan laser-targets message delivery using a sophisticated “artificial intelligence” geo-targeting online ad platform. We are tapping into social media communities to reach students and their parents to let future Saints know about the exciting possibilities at MU and increase student inquiries. The creative strategy uses MU’s best brand ambassadors to deliver its messaging: our students telling their success stories. 

For the first time this year, we held a week-long orientation for freshmen immediately before classes started, and it was the largest orientation session in university history.

International Students
Confirming our U.S. News & World Report ethnic diversity ranking, our 2016-17 enrollment reflects a record 424 international students, a 21.1% increase over the 2015-16 academic year and a 32.9% 5-year increase. Our richly diverse student population represents students from 76 countries, the highest since 2006.

Retention Rates
Thanks to your hard work, our record student retention rates confirm the value of the extraordinary private Catholic education at Marymount. 
Fall 2015 to Fall 2016
  • First-time Freshmen: 78.9% (second highest ever)
  • First-time Graduate Students: 88.8%
Spring 2016 to Fall 2016
  • Undergraduates: 88.6% (highest percentage since 2012)
  • Graduate Students: 91.2% (highest percentage since we began tracking in 2010) 
We are deeply gratified by these numbers, which reflect the hard work of the entire MU Community to attract and retain students who thrive, connect with our community, finish their degree and have successful career outcomes. 

Our Capital Campaign

In Service to Our Future

Thursday, November 10, will be an especially exciting day for the future of Marymount University. 

At the President's Circle Dinner, the Marymount University leadership and our Board of Trustees will publicly launch our capital campaign: 
Grounded in Faith. Inspired by Tradition. Investing in Our Future.   
A Campaign for Marymount University.
For the past few years, giving totals and the number of donors making gifts to Marymount have risen steadily. In some cases, Marymount has even soared above national giving averages for higher education. Our new campaign has transformative goals above and beyond our annual giving efforts:

SCHOLARSHIP EXPANSION - Expanding our scholarship portfolio in support of our students.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT - Building on our thriving faculty cohort's dedication to teaching, scholarship and service by growing our base of endowed professorships, chairs and funds to support our outstanding academic programs.

STUDENT RESEARCH / EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING - Providing research opportunities to all of the excellent students qualified to participate. Weaving real-life experiences into our curriculum.
BALLSTON REDEVELOPMENT- Raising the profile of Marymount in our community and on the higher education landscape as we improve and expand our facilities.

Under the guiding spirit of our Catholic roots and Common Ground tenets, MU’s liberal arts education builds on our cherished foundation of being grounded in faith, inspired by our tradition and invested in our future to teach, mentor and nurture 21st century learners. This campaign has been crafted to enlarge the University’s capacity to meet the emerging needs of academic delivery. Developing servant-leaders who have not only a technology-forward skill bank, deep knowledge base and growing expertise but also confidence that they themselves have something special to give makes Marymount a unique and valuable institution on today’s landscape of private higher education. 
Campaign donors can be confident that their gifts to our students are worthy of their own philanthropic goals. Their donations will be multiplied by our graduates’ gifts to the world through fruitful lives of work and service.

Our Profile

In Service to Our National Reputation

MU Climbs 10 Spots in 2017 U.S. News & World Report
"Best Colleges" Ranking

We are delighted to again be recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranking as a top tier university. Marymount rose 10 spots – from 53rd in 2016 to 43rd – among Regional Universities in the South in the 2017 edition. The U.S. News rankings compare the academic quality of more than 1,800 U.S.-based schools focused on academic excellence.  We are gratified that small class size was considered as an example of excellence for 2017. Our student success rates for graduation and career outcomes bear witness to the impact of small class size, which is one hallmark of a Marymount education.  
But that’s not all…
#2 in Ethnic Diversity
The Marymount campus ranked 2nd for ethnic diversity among regional universities in the South, with only .01 of a point separating us from the top spot. This is a category in which we've consistently set the standard for others to follow.

#5 in % of International Students
Additionally, MU ranks 5th in percentage of international students (12 percent of our total student population). The report notes that a strong global presence allows international students an opportunity to share culture and traditions with their U.S. peers. 
For a full list of 2017 rankings, visit

Our Campus Development

In Service to Our Growth - Ballston Center

The transformation of the Blue Goose into the LEED Gold certified Ballston Center  – a unique blend of educational, office and residential space –  is really taking shape. With its gateway location on the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, accessed by car, bus, bicycle, or the Silver or Orange Metro lines, the new Ballston Center is a thriving, connected destination. As project developer Kevin Shooshan explains, it will bring a new vibrancy to the Ballston neighborhood.  Daily foot traffic of our students and staff, on-site retail customers, office workers and residents will breathe new life into the site as this 21st century multi-use complex offers dynamic new dimensions in learning, living and working.

In its inaugural academic year in 2017-18, the first six floors of our Ballston Center will be used as educational and staff space. Avison Young, the business space leasing company for the top three floors, imagines government contractors, high profile associations, IT and technology companies as potential tenants. The 265-unit residential building next door will feature premium finishes and lobby level retail space. A public plaza and pedestrian passageway connects the two buildings, sitting atop three levels of underground parking.

A “topping out” celebration was held in early October as the last beam was placed atop both buildings. The vista changes daily, and so go by often to witness the exciting developments of the Ballston Center in this thriving commercial corridor of the greater D.C. area.

Our Catholic Identity

In Service to Our Legacy: Refreshing Our Connection with Our RSHM Roots

In July, a delegation from Marymount journeyed to France to the RSHM Mother House in Béziers. The group toured the major sites related to the Founder and Foundress of the order. Through dialogue, interactive narrative presentations, discussions of projects like digitizing RSHM archives, building websites, teaching, and field trips, they learned more about the order’s history, mission and the Catholic intellectual tradition. 

The MU delegation’s journey to the Mother House is part of our effort to more widely and meaningfully connect with the sisters of the RSHM and prepare to carry the legacy of our founders' RSHM Catholic identity into the 21st century. 

The Marymount delegation included Dr. Linda McMurdock, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Jeanne Matthews, dean of the Malek School of Health Professions; Dr. Brian Doyle, chair of theology & religious studies; Sr. Jacquelyn Porter, RSHM, professor of theology; Victor Betancourt, executive director of the Center for Global Education; Barry Erdeljon, co-chair, communication and media design; and Dr. Jo-Ann Amadeo, assistant professor of psychology.

The trip was ten years in the making. Victor Betancourt, who first visited the Mother House two years ago, arranged a class trip for a dozen students and two professors last year. In commitment to preserve our tradition and honor our legacy, one of our goals is to send a delegation from Marymount to Béziers annually.

Our Alumni

In Service to Generations of Saints

"Marymount allowed me to do so many things beyond my wildest dreams. I would not be anywhere near where I am today if I didn’t have the opportunity to attend Marymount. I really benefited from Marymount’s family environment." 
    – Justin Kenny, '96, B.A. Mass Media Communication & English

Justin Kenny Found "It" at MU!
Marymount graduate and Emmy Award-winning journalist Justin Kenny delivered the Marya McLaughlin Lecture this October. Kenny has earned two Emmy Awards working as the foreign and defense editor for the “NewsHour” on PBS and a Peabody Award for his series on the European refugee crisis. His work has ranged from stories on fighting ISIS to the Syrian civil war, nuclear negotiations with Iran, Nelson Mandela’s death and the Paris terror attacks. He recently launched his own production company, Small Footprint Films, in D.C. and remains a “NewsHour” contributor. Under the mentoring of former MU professor David Byers, Justin interned at PBS “MacNeil/Lehrer Report,” as well as the Washington bureau and London headquarters of ITN, which creates news and multimedia content for global customers.

"It's a teacher's dream to have a student achieve so much success, and I expect even more great things from Justin in the future." - David Byers

Marymount was honored and proud to welcome Justin back to campus to speak to and inspire our entire campus family. 

Our Programs

In Service to Our Community: Helping Children in Need

Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola; Brenda Wilks, assistant superintendent of Arlington County Public Schools; and Dr. Cole Galloway, Founder of Go Baby Go!, were featured speakers as our Department of Physical Therapy launched MU’s Go Baby Go! Garage in September. The event drew more than 200 people to our campus and provided 12 special needs children with modified toy cars that will make them more mobile.

Department chair Dr. Skye Donovan said the event let the public know that there is a fully functioning chapter of Go Baby Go! in our area and they can donate cars to families that need them. She said it also raised $13,000 for the cause. Amy O’Malley, a pediatrics physical therapist with Good Beginnings, co-chaired the event with Donovan.
MU wants to thank all our sponsors, including Good Beginnings, Best Buddies, Caring Angels, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, Cheesetique, Civitan International, Centreville Moose Lodge, Powerhouse Gaming, Children’s Speech and Language, Sidwell Summer, Infinite Technologies, Dominion Engineering, Rotary Club and Orthotic Solutions.