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Column: Agnes Scott wins ACE ‘transformation’ award

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 17, 2017

Agnes Scott College received a prestigious honor on March 12 when the American Council on Education (ACE) gave it the 2017 Award for Institutional Transformation.

Agnes Scott received the award for institutions with student populations of 5,000 or less while Brandman University of Irving, Calif., received the award for institutions with more than 5,000 students. The award of $10,000 is given by ACE and Fidelity Investments.

The awards were presented at ACE2017, ACE’s 99th annual meeting, and Agnes Scott College President Elizabeth Kiss accepted the award.

Elizabeth Kiss

Agnes Scott President Elizabeth Kiss with ACE President Molly Corbett Broad (Special from ACE)

ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said the awards are given to educational institutions that are “rising to the challenges of innovation and meeting the needs of 21st century learners.

“We appreciate the generous support of Fidelity Investments for this award, which allows us each year to recognize institutions where this type of dramatic

has occurred.”

In 2011, Agnes Scott — a small liberal arts college for women, found its business model unsustainable, and the board of trustees adopted a “Roadmap to 2020” for the college.

Over the next three years, the school developed, market-tested and launched a signature initiative, Summit, that serves to reinvent a liberal arts education for the 21st century by providing students, regardless of their major, with a robust focus on global learning and leadership development integrated with a digital portfolio and supported by a personal board of advisors.

Summit was fully launched in fall 2015. Enrollment increased 21 percent. Retention also increased and hit an all-time high of 87 percent. Student satisfaction also increased dramatically.

“All of us at Agnes Scott are thrilled to receive this wonderful award,” Kiss said. “We are excited to have charted a bold, new course for our institution through offering our students an education that will enable them to engage, lead and succeed in a complex global society.”

Atlanta Federal Reserve’s new president

Atlanta leaders are pulling for Raphael Bostic, named March 13 as the next president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, effective June 5.

Raphael Bostic

Raphael Bostic

“I look forward to welcoming him to Atlanta,” said Dennis Lockhart, who retired as president of the Atlanta Fed on Feb. 28 after 10 years in the post and who has not yet met Bostic. “If he wishes me to provide my two cents, I will be happy to do so. I have every reason to expect he will be an enormous success in Atlanta.”

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) applauded the appointment of Bostic, the first African-American and first openly gay president of a regional Federal Reserve Bank.

“Atlanta is the cradle of the Civil Rights movement, so it is only fitting that our city be home to the first African-American head of a Federal Reserve Bank,” Lewis said in a statement. “While such an appointment is long overdue, I am proud that Atlanta is leading the way.”

Brian McGowan, a principal with Dentons who used to be CEO of Invest Atlanta and COO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, said he believes Bostic will be a strong addition to Georgia.

“He’s a good friend of mine,” McGowan said. “We knew each other when we were in the Obama administration.”

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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