As the college’s fall semester winds down, I look back over Jane’s and my first five months here at SNC. The time has been truly rewarding and exciting for us. With 2011 on the horizon, my focus will intensify on my main initiatives: to build out the campus master plan, to solidify SNC’s standing as a first-rate educational experience for the students, and to continue establishing a collaborative environment aimed at enhancing the economic sustainability of the school.

Earlier this month, the college gathered many of its dedicated supporters together for an elegant evening at the Hyatt’s Lakeside Ballroom. The 2010 Holiday Gala celebrated the “Gift of Community Spirit” in style with outstanding musical performances from the Heifetz International Music Institute and jovial moments provided by Eli, the Eagle, our new college mascot, a dancing Christmas tree, and baskets full of boas. You could see the spirit of our community on each smiling face.

As a not for profit institution, SNC relies heavily on donor funding to sustain its operations. Donor funding closes the critical gap between tuition, other revenue and total costs on an annual basis, thus making our net tuition pricing competitive in a challenging market. We have approximately 500 undergraduate students on our Incline campus, and nearly 700 graduate students in our education masters programs delivered in Reno, Henderson and online.  Read a bit about how academic scholarships donated by private individuals in the community have impacted our students.

We want Sierra Nevada College to be a central point in the social and cultural experience in Lake Tahoe. We look forward to seeing you on campus in the New Year. Best wishes for happy holidays, with time to reflect and be with family and friends.

Rich