Not long ago, in December of 2013, during a meeting of CMC’s Board of Trustees, Nancy Falk P’14 listened to President Hiram Chodosh and her fellow trustees discuss the issue of rising tuition costs in higher education and the need for CMC to formulate a response.
As president of CMC’s Parent Network Board at the time, Falk never expected to name that response. She simply expressed her feelings as a parent.
"It's an imperative," she said, and then was asked to repeat her words to the group.
The words stuck. When it was time to unveil CMC’s new initiative, Falk saw her remark transformed into The Student Imperative.
The issue of college affordability is a formidable challenge that is hardly unique to CMC. In December 2014, the White House convened a second national summit on college affordability and access in recognition of the fact that the rising costs of higher education limit access to deserving students and their families, which threatens our ability to prepare today’s young leaders for tomorrow’s challenges. When President Chodosh presented the Imperative at the first White House summit a year earlier, it was arguably the most ambitious of any participating college or university.
The Student Imperative is an umbrella term for an initiative aimed at the total student experience, from the classroom to the campus experience to the cost. Along with a goal of raising $100 million to support financial aid and scholarships, CMC’s president and trustees framed two additional challenges in which the College will lead by example: to sharpen and intensify academic value and to reinforce norms and behaviors of personal and social responsibility in the current generation of students.
What does The Student Imperative mean for our students and their families? What will it mean for CMC and, by example, for the country?
CMC Magazine asked members of the College community involved in these issues—fundraising and affordability, academics and programmatic value, and personal and social responsibility—to offer a snapshot of each prong of the Imperative in the following brief essays.