ACADEMIC YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
Bluefield University Students Go Further With Enhanced Technology Students, faculty, and staff all received the benefit of new technologies for the 2021-2022 academic year thanks to the support of key foundations supporting Bluefield University. The season of change was implemented through new enrollment plan initiatives adopted by the Board of Trustees. The RAMSConnect initiative for on-campus students partnered with Apple to provide each an iPad Air 4, smart keyboard, and Apple Pencil 2. Each iPad was preloaded with all textbooks for the student's semester. The initiative emphasized the University's commitment to providing the best opportunity for student success and equal access to technology. In the academic world, faculty were also provided the opportunity to utilize iPads as part of their instruction. A new learning management platform, Canvas, was implemented for all courses. With the assistance of instructional designers led by Executive Vice President Pat Neely, all courses are receiving a streamlined look and feel through Canvas in order to enhance the user experience students incur through their educational journey. The Admissions Office moved to a Salesforce system for managing prospective student processes and added integrated phone systems which directly input communications processes into the student's file. An updated digital communications system, Pardot, was also added for enhanced email capabilities. Finally, the Advancement team undertook a change from its Jenzabar database services to Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge NXT. The new database provides enhanced reporting for fundraising purposes. The Operations and Technology team was commended in the Spring Board of Trustee meeting for their mobility and speed in the monumental task of installing all new systems.
Bluefield University students have a new space for indoor athletic practice and winter activities at the Keene-Beavers Building in Bluefield, West Virginia. The building was generously donated by Keene Carpet owners Harold "Lynn" Keene, his wife Charlotte, and Annette Beavers. The former carpet store was previously transformed into indoor recreation space with a court used for tennis and pickleball courts among other uses.
A legacy family with generations of graduates from Bluefield University, the Philpott family have long supported the institution. The University celebrates the life of the late Curtis "Joe" Philpott. As a proud member of The Heritage Society, the University's planned giving club, his estate will provide ten years of gifts to The University Fund for annual scholarships and create an endowed scholarship.
#RiseUpRams is the dedicated fall fundraiser for Bluefield University Athletics. Thanks to leading gifts from corporate sponsors and generous support from annual donors, the campaign had a banner year. Sponsors included Gigabeam Networks for The Rammies, an evening celebrating the achievements of student-athletes, and Swope Construction Co. for their sponsorship of the 20th Annual Golfer's Challenge which raises athletic scholarship funds.
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