Mark A. Thompson vows ‘whatever it takes’ approach to education
BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wentworth Institute of Technology today inaugurated the fifth president in its 115-year history—the school’s first chief executive from outside of the engineering industry.
In his inauguration address, Mark A. Thompson, Ph. D., an economist, highlighted four key focus areas for the nationally ranked institution, which became a university in 2017.
“You should expect that I will be bold and courageous,” said Thompson. “It is my responsibility and my commitment in my role as president to do whatever it takes to ensure inclusive excellence, to provide high-value learning opportunities, to ensure the highest quality student experience, and to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with industry, community and alumni.”
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh called Wentworth’s preparation programs for Boston Public School students “outstanding,” and said he looks forward to working with Thompson.
“Wentworth’s president plays a major role in our city,” said Walsh. “I will be calling on your help and insight, and we will move forward together—a city united.”
Surrounded by friends and family members, Wentworth students, faculty, staff, alumni, university supporters, state and city representatives, and delegates from area colleges and universities, Thompson delivered a sweeping inauguration address that while laced with hope and positivity also struck a cautionary tone over challenges facing the university and higher education in general.
“My message today is about the work we must do together to secure Wentworth’s bright future—work that must be done with a sense of what I call optimistic urgency,” he said.
As part of his inauguration-week activities, Thompson also announced a $10 million scholarship matching challenge called ASAP—for Advancing Student Access and Potential. With the ASAP challenge, Wentworth aims to increase the amount of permanent financial aid available to students.
The university for the first time will be taking $5 million of unrestricted funds from its endowment to match dollar for dollar the creation of new endowed scholarships of $25,000 or more, thereby doubling their impact for students and expanding the school’s overall scholarship endowment to more than $35 million. The university will also match gifts of $25,000 or more that are made to existing scholarship funds.
The ASAP funds will help to create high-school-to-college pathways for Boston youth; attract more women and underrepresented minorities to Wentworth’s engineering, science, design, and management programs; fill gaps between federal and state grants, and merit-based funding; support students who may need more time to complete their college degree; and help students from lower-income or working-class families reduce their debt level at graduation.
Known for its practical-learning focus and career-oriented co-op programs, Wentworth offers bachelor’s degrees in areas such as engineering, architecture, computer science, applied mathematics, business management, computer networking, construction management and design. It also offers master’s degrees in applied computer science, architecture, civil engineering, construction management, facility management and technology management.
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