The College of New Rochelle begins a new era in 2016-2017 as the School of Arts and Sciences will open its doors to men for the first time.
Forty-five freshmen men from nine states are enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences, giving the college its largest incoming freshmen class.
“After talking to some of my (basketball) teammates and the men going into the school, everyone is really cool and I’m excited about it,” freshman Xavier Tellez, a graduate of Salesian High School, told CNY.
“At first, I did not know what the College of New Rochelle had to offer. The faculty and staff at orientation stressed education is most important, and Coach told me I had a great opportunity to play basketball and study for a college degree.”
Kevona Jackson, a junior business major and softball player from Yonkers, said, “I’m excited about this. It will bring a new vibe to the school.”
The College of New Rochelle (CNR) was known as the College of St. Angela when the Ursuline Sisters opened the first Catholic women’s college in New York state in 1904. The school changed its name to the College of New Rochelle in 1910.
CNR remained women only until its graduate school became coeducational in 1969. The School of New Resources and the School of Nursing became coeducational in 1972 and 1976, respectively. The School of Arts and Sciences is the last of the campus schools to go coed.
College president Judith Huntington said CNR was ready for this change.
“All the key stakeholders were prepared to let go an institutional value and make a major transition. I think the timing was right based on the response and each major group supporting it,” she said.
Ms. Huntington added there was a need to expand the mission to attract more women as well as men. Sixty incoming freshmen are enrolling from Catholic high schools, compared with 19 in 2015-2016. Seven freshmen are also coming from Ursuline Sisters’ high schools, which are girls’ schools.
“We were looking at how to expand our mission and how do we reach more women,’’ she said. “What we learned from data was only five percent of women would accept a single-sex environment. We were closing the door to 95 percent of women and all men.”
In opening its School of Arts and Sciences to men, the college announced it was starting a men’s athletics program, which will compete at NCAA Division III level in the Hudson Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference. The Blue Angels will field men’s teams for soccer, basketball, swimming and tennis this school year.
“(Director of Athletics) Jay Butler has really been instrumental in revitalizing our athletic program, and we threw curveball at him in his first few months,’’ said Kevin Cavanagh, College of New Rochelle’s vice president for enrollment management. “He was involved in the process from the time he joined our college. They are recruiting men and women out of high schools who will be great fits on this campus. They’re going allow us to utilize what is a gem in the Hudson Valley in our Wellness Center.’’