The Centenary University Presidential Inauguration Speech by Dr. David Haney
Dr. David P. Haney was appointed the 13th president of Centenary University in July 2016.
Welcome to Centenary University. In my first year as Centenary’s 13th president, I am constantly struck by the opportunities this institution offers to the wide variety of 21st-century learners in programs ranging from a certificate in social media marketing to our renowned equestrian program to our new Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, with a wide range of both traditional liberal arts and career-focused options in between.
The question I have been asked most since I arrived in Hackettstown is “Why did you choose to come to Centenary?” It is a legitimate question, since most of my higher education career has been in large state universities and a small private college in Alabama, North Carolina, and southwest Virginia. Here are the major factors that drew me here, and if you are a student or parent considering Centenary University, these are also reasons for you to join us:
- Outcomes: Centenary has the third highest four-year graduation rate in New Jersey, second only to Princeton University for private institutions, at 61% (compared to a national rate of 39%) and a 94% placement rate (compared to a national rate of 69%). This means that Centenary can give a positive answer to two of the most important questions for parents and students: Will I graduate on time and will I be successful after graduation?
- Adaptability: Centenary has adapted to the times through its history, from a two-and then four-year college for women to a coeducational college to a multi-campus university serving both traditional undergraduate students and working adults. We are committed to remaining attuned to the needs of today’s learners amid today’s economic and cultural changes.
- Diversity: The ethnic and cultural diversity of the region and the nation are reflected in Centenary’s student population. Students of color represent approximately a quarter of the student population, and about 30% of our students are the first in their families to attend college.
- Liberal Arts and career preparation: With career-focused programs combining seamlessly with the traditional liberal arts, Centenary recognizes that both employers and society at large need people with specialized training, a broad set of interpretive and communicative skills, and a global perspective on our rapidly changing world.
- Caring community: While changing from a college to a university, Centenary has remained committed to small classes, close student-faculty interaction, and collaborative learning.
- Connection to community: With one of the nation’s longest-running community-service requirements, Centenary is committed to engaging with the community locally, regionally, and globally. We partner with communities through student internship and service projects as well as through institutional initiatives connecting Centenary to the business, faith, health, and other communities
- The whole student: As a Methodist-related institution embracing all faiths, while promoting intellectual inquiry and fostering the scholar-athlete model of NCAA Division III athletics, Centenary views the educational mission as an engagement with all facets of a student’s life.
- Location: Centenary is in a classic small town, surrounded by varied natural beauty and recreational opportunities, but only a short train ride from Manhattan—a great place to spend a college career, a working career, or a life.