By Jordan Courage 16, Gael Community Ambassador

 
Iona shares Blessed Edmund Rice’s legacy with great pride. While I have always appreciated his dedication to service, I did not entirely understand the underlying purpose of Edmund Rice’s mission to serve the poor and marginalized until winter break 2015. I simply thought Rice was a good man giving to the poor and sick in Ireland and caring for their children. However, my mission trip to India (along with the other five mission trips that departed in early January), found Edmund to be much more than that.

After returning from India I have had a hard time processing my experience. No words can describe my short time in India, nor can a single article articulate the chaos, diversity, and awe of India. But I still want to share how Edmund Rice has changed my life. 
 
Jordan Courage '16 during her January 2015 mission trip to India

Upon arriving in Kolkata, I was immediately faced with sensory overload. From potent smells to bright lights and honking horns, the streets of Kolkata are unlike anything else on earth. Our drive to St. Mary’s School was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. If I learned one thing while in India it was that history books and statistics can only teach you so much about the world. There are more people living in poverty in India than the entire population of the United States. That’s a hard concept to fathom, especially within the limitations of our American perspective. But playing with schoolchildren that lived in homes smaller than my apartment’s closet and witnessing the dire need for volunteers at the Mother Teresa home solidified these “statistics.” Human suffering is very real, and despite the strides that have been made to help the poor and the marginalized, we have a long way to go. If there is one thing I learned in India, it was the awe-inspiring endurance of the human spirit. We are capable of surviving with much less than we would think, and we have a natural instinct in us to find hope in the darkest of places. 

In addition to our service experiences, we certainly enjoyed our cultural immersion. We visited the flower market, sipped chai tea from street vendors, shopped, and wrung out laundry at the Mother Teresa’s house until our forearms cramped. By day eight we were exhausted with an overpowering craving for a hamburger and fries. While India challenged me in new ways, thanks to an amazing team, I made it through 12 days with an entirely Indian-based diet, no hot water or running showers, and no technological connection to the outside world.

I am not going to encourage you to go to India or serve the less fortunate of the world like Edmund Rice did. Edmund made a difference because he accepted all walks of life and never turned someone away based on religion, race, economic status or age. In a place like India, Christian Brothers have a strong, purposeful mission. The mission of Edmund Rice is alive, giving hope to all humanity. If a place consumed with religious strife and the caste system can find compassion, then why can’t all of us apply these ethics to our daily life? Edmund Rice simply changed the towns he lived in through acceptance and love for all humanity. Can we do the same?

 

Iona's Economic Impact


As Much as $250 Million Annually for New York State
 

Two new studies find that Iona College’s total annual economic impact is up to $250 million – on the state of New York, and particularly on the Westchester & Bronx Region.

The findings are from a study conducted by two Iona professors and another conducted on behalf of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR).
 
“The studies indicate Iona has a significant positive impact on the economic, educational and service environment of New Rochelle and the surrounding region,” says Anand Shetty, Ph.D., professor of finance and co-author of the Economic and Service Impact Report (ESIR). “Collectively with the state’s other independent institutions of higher education, it is clear Iona plays a major role in the vitality of New York.”

The CGR study looked at all independent institutions of higher education in the state and, for Iona College, estimates a grand total economic impact, direct and spillover, of more than $250 million – see www.cicu.org/economic-community-impact for more on the study. 
 
Iona College’s more conservative Economic and Service Impact Report (ESIR) conducted by Iona business professors John Manley and Anand Shetty indicate the employment impact in the Region is 2,129, including 1,325 direct employees of the College. Further, the study estimates that the College’s total impact is $117.5 million. The service impact component of the study reflects the 22,500 student volunteer hours given to provide for a variety of community service needs.
 
Iona’s role in the region’s economy was also recently recognized with approval to participate in Start-Up NY, a program intended to help start, expand or relocate qualified businesses to tax-free zones in New York State. The College’s credit worthiness has also been upgraded in the past year by both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, one of only a few colleges in the nation with that distinction.
 
“The results of this new economic and service impact study are an indicator of Iona’s commitment to reaching beyond the walls of its classrooms and the immediate boundaries of its physical campus,” said Westchester County Association President Marissa Brett. “As the College embarks on its next 75 years, we look forward to continuing to explore and develop partnerships that not only benefit the College, but the region at large.” 
 
According to Manley and Shetty, the study highlights the role Iona serves as an incubator of economic activity through its direct purchases of goods and services, as well as the spending by its employees, students and visitors. Besides its day-to-day economic interactions through spending, Iona contributes to an educated workforce in the region and the nation at large. The study describes how workforce spending makes further contributions to the community in terms of income, employment and tax revenue to local and state governments, which is often referred to as the forward-linkage effect. 
 
“We believe this study is a conservative estimate of Iona’s overall economic impact on the region,” says Manley. “For instance, we excluded the impact of Iona College’s additional operations in Rockland County and New York City, and the impact of capital expenditures for improvements to campus facilities.”

The Economic Impact Study addresses a common misconception about the tax-free status of a not-for-profit (NFP) institution such as Iona. The authors point out that there is often a perception that NFPs do not contribute to local governments’ tax revenues, while receiving the benefits of municipal services. The study concludes that Iona’s impact on government tax revenues includes: 1. additional taxes paid on higher earnings of College graduates who remain in the area, 2. income taxes paid by College employees, 3. sales taxes generated by student, faculty, staff and visitors of the College when they make purchases in the local areas, and 4. taxes paid by vendors and/or suppliers to the College.  Other possible sources include tax revenues generated by mixed-use of College facilities and the real estate, property and school taxes paid by resident Iona employees and graduates. See the full Iona report online at bit.ly/IonaImpact.

 

Greek Life Flourishes at Iona


By Megan Jakobson 15, Gael Community Ambassador

Greek life has received a lot of national media attention in the past year, much of which has been overwhelmingly negative. During this time when other Greek organizations are receiving criticism, Iona is lucky to have a fun and flourishing Greek life. This spring, we had the most students participate in the Greek new member recruitment process than ever before. My own organization initiated 12 wonderfully talented and dedicated women. A successful recruitment process directly reflects the immense benefits one can gain by becoming a member of our community. 

Iona currently has eight Greek organizations: three fraternities and five sororities (which include two national fraternities and one national sorority). Approximately 10 percent of Iona’s undergraduate population is a member of a fraternity or a sorority.

Being a member of a Greek organization opens the door to greater campus and community involvement. You will find sorority women and fraternity men that are student-athletes, student Campus Ministers, in the cast of musical and acting performances, participants in our Student Government, and many other clubs and organizations on and off campus. Going Greek gave me the opportunity to gain leadership skills, meet new people, and learn how to best serve my community.

Each organization has its own philanthropies, and members pride themselves on being able to raise awareness and money for a wide variety of issues from preventing animal abuse to HIV/AIDS research. We also participate in on- and off-campus services projects. Some service projects sponsored by fraternity and sorority life this year have included fundraisers for Autism Speaks, American Cancer Society, Children’s Miracle Network, Wounded Warrior Project, MS Walk, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, St. Jude’s, Make a Wish, The Ability Experience, and many more.

One of the long-standing traditions brought to Iona thanks to Greek life is the biannual blood drive, held on-campus since 1984. Delta Theta Beta Sorority now partners with the Red Cross to hold two blood drives each semester! The next blood drive will take place on April 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Mulchahy Gym, Hynes Athletics Center. To donate blood, please email NSarnataro1@gaels.iona.edu.

For more information about fraternity and sorority life at Iona College, please contact Jason Gloe, assistant director of student development, at jgloe@iona.edu.

 

New North Avenue Residence Hall


Latest photo rendition of the North Avenue Residence Hall
Shortly after President Nyre's arrival in 2011, Iona College engaged in a series of community meetings with neighbors and elected officials resulting in renewed support from the College and City of New Rochelle to revitalize North Avenue. Iona is ready to implement this vision with a proposal to build a new multi-use facility that expands on-campus student housing options and provides additional services to the surrounding community.

Early in 2014 the owners of the Mirage Diner approached Iona, offering an opportunity to redevelop an ideal location across from the main entrance to campus.  The ground floor will encompass tax-paying retail and restaurant space with parking. The upper six floors will include attractive apartment-style student housing geared toward upper classmen. As a college-managed facility, security, onsite management and a new system for parking on campus for students will be implemented. The building is being designed to complement the neighborhood in the style of the library at Iona across the street with enhanced lighting and traffic management.

“Iona College is the second-largest private-sector employer in the City of New Rochelle, serving as a significant economic and service engine for the City. I’m pleased the College is working with the community to develop property outside its traditional walls and to revitalize North Avenue,” said Luiz Aragon, commissioner of development for the City of New Rochelle.

Continuing the tradition of community involvement, Iona has hosted five meetings to gather public opinion during the initial planning phase. Now, the College has named Lisa Davis as the public and press relations leader for the project. Lisa is a New Rochelle community service leader having served as the president of the Residence Park Neighborhood and Civic Association, on the City of New Rochelle’s Comprehensive Plan and Environmental Advisory Committees, and as a student mentor through MentorNet. An experienced marketing and sales operations professional, Lisa has a reputation for turning insight into action. In her new role as the community liaison for this project, she is establishing multiple ways for the nearby neighbors and the press to learn the latest news and to ask questions.
 
Public input will continue to be solicited through a series of community meetings as the planning phase ends and construction begins. A new website www.iona.edu/NorthAveResHall will provide the status of the project and links to more information. You can reach Lisa by email at ldavis@iona.edu   or by using the new community hotline at (914) 633-2318 where you can leave a message that will be answered within 24 hours. “I look forward to being the voice of Iona in the language of the community for this exciting new development,” Lisa said at the beginning of the project. Please contact Lisa with your questions and comments throughout the planning and construction of the new Residence Hall on North Avenue.
Lisa Davis
Community & Press Relations
Iona North Ave. Residence Hall
(914) 633-2318
 
 

Community Welcome Events: Spring 2015


Iona hosts events that are free or discounted and open to the greater community. Iona invites you to partake in all that being part of a college community has to offer! Contact Michele Nelson, director of off-campus housing, with questions at (914) 633-2243.

· Gallery Exhibition – “Impressions: Works by Alvin Clayton.” January 26 through February 26 in the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery. Free admission.

· Classical Music for the FamilyThe Selfish Giant, presented by The Symphony of Westchester with students from Songcatchers. February 8 at 3 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Admission: $15 adults and $5 children.

· African Music – with Yacouba Sissoko. Part of Iona’s Black History Month celebration. February 12 at 5 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Free admission.

· Lecture – Professor Alan Rosen: Annual Rabbi Michael A. Signer Memorial Lecture. February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Burke Lounge, Spellman Hall. Free admission.

· Gallery Exhibition   “Urban Naturalists.” March 2 through April 9 in the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery. Free admission.

· Interfaith Seder – with the Coalition for Mutual Respect. March 26 at 6 p.m. in Burke Lounge, Spellman Hall. Call for tickets: (914) 235-1800.

· Dance – “Collected Works: Twenty Fifteen.” Iona College Dance Ensemble. April 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Admission: $10.

· Gospel Music with the Iona College Gospel Choir. April 17 at 5 p.m. in Burke Lounge, Spellman Hall. Light refreshments. Free admission.

· Theatre The Glass Menagerie, presented by the Iona College Theatre Ensemble. April 23 at 7 p.m., April 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and April 25 and 26 at 1 p.m. in the Doorley Auditorium. Admission: $10.

· Gallery Exhibition – “Accumulation 2015: The Student Exhibit.” April 20 through May 7 in the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery. Free admission.

· Gospel Music “Heritage Fest,” part of Spring Weekend/Gael Jam. April 25 at 3 p.m. in the Robert V. LaPenta Student Union parking lot. Rain site: Hynes Athletics Center. Free Admission.

· Choral Music – with the Sound Shore Chorale. April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Admission: $20.

· Japanese Festival – “Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival.” May 1 at noon in the Campus Quad. Rain site: Burke Lounge, Spellman Hall. Free admission.

· Classical Music The Symphony of Westchester. May 2 at 8 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Admission: $50 general, $35 seniors and $25 non-Iona students.

Every effort has been made to provide accurate information. Programs are subject to change.  Review www.iona.edu for additional opportunities.

 

 

Important Spring 2015 Dates


Monday, January 19                    Martin Luther King Jr. Day –

                                                     No Classes

                                                     Resident Students Move-In

Tuesday, January 20                   Undergraduate Classes Resume

Monday, February 16                 Presidents Day – No Classes

Monday, March 16                      Spring Break Begins

Tuesday, March 17                     St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 23                      Classes in Session

Thursday, April 2                       Holy Thursday – No Classes

 Friday, April 3                           Good Friday – No Classes

 Sunday, April 5                          Easter

 Monday, April 6                         Easter Monday – No Classes

 Friday, May 8                             Last Day of Classes

 Monday, May 11                         Undergraduate Finals Begin

 Friday, May 15                           Undergraduate Classes End

 Saturday, May 16                      Alternate Exam Day

 Saturday, May 16                      Undergraduate Commencement

 Monday, May 25                        Memorial Day – No Classes

 

Iona in Mission: January 2015


 

 
Iona in Mission is sponsoring four winter break mission trips this January. 
· Nine students and a moderator will travel to Nazareth Farm in West Virginia and learn about the economic challenges of Appalachia while they engage in service opportunities such as constructing homes, farming, and visiting members of the community.
· Eleven students and a moderator will travel to New Orleans, La., to work at the Duchesne House with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and visit with the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers community.
· Sixteen students and three moderators will travel to Calcutta and Delhi in India where they will work with the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers at their local street schools.
· Twelve students and a moderator will travel to Ireland and work with incarcerated men at Wheatfield Prison and then visit Edmund Rice heritage sites. They will also meet Nobel Prize winner Mairead Maguire during a stop in Belfast.