24 in 24: Highlights from the 2023–24 Academic Year at Gordon

From groundbreaking research to the spreading of Shalom to athletic triumphs, 2024 was a memorable journey for the Gordon College community. In recognition of the faithful collaboration that makes our community unique, let’s revisit 24 highlights from the 2023–24 academic year. 

  1. Gordon College announced the establishment of the School of Business, with Steven Nelson, former senior director of external relations and M.B.A. executive director at Harvard Business School, as the inaugural dean. The School received $8 million in start-up capital and will bring together dedicated resources and industry practitioners to prepare students with maximum relevance for today’s marketplace.   

  1. Along with the newly established School of Business, Gordon introduced four new majors in business analytics, digital marketing and communications, entrepreneurship and innovation and sport management. These new majors will prepare students for thriving careers in evolving business fields and help address the expected 23 percent rate of “labor market churn” in the next five years, according to a World Economic Forum survey. 

  1. Gordon College announced the naming of its School of Educationthe Peter Herschend School of Education—and a renewed commitment to resourcing teachers to mitigate the literacy crisis in America. The School was named in honor of Peter Herschend, in gratitude for his longstanding commitment to education and his dedicated service to the Gordon community. 

  1. As part of the new Peter Herschend School of Education, a partnership was announced between Gordon College and North Shore Christian School. North Shore Christian School’s Beverly campus is renting on-campus space from Gordon in the 2024–25 academic year, providing potential opportunities to enrich the already robust classroom experiences teacher candidates have across diverse school settings. 

  1. Gordon College also announced the establishment of the Adams School of Music and the Arts. Dr. Sarita Kwok, leader of Gordon’s Department of Music for the past 10 years, was named inaugural dean. The School was named for longtime patrons of the arts and faithful Gordon supporters Stephen and Denise Adams. It serves as the home for music, art, theatre arts and communication arts, as well as the signature Gordon in Orvieto study abroad program. 

  1. A team of Gordon students hosted and competed in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for the New England district. The team placed third for a second year in a row. Led by Professor Greg Smith and project manager Gabby Bergstrom, the team created a comprehensive marketing campaign and case study for Tide, the highest-selling detergent brand in the world. 

  1. For the second year in a row, a team from Gordon’s Business Club competed at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC). The team produced stellar results, including awards for “Best Overall Performance” and “Best Documents in Their World.” 

  1. Gordon College entered a new culinary partnership with Metz Culinary Management, offering expanded hours, new dining stations and food options and enhanced meal accessibility for student athletes.  

  1. Gordon College honored the Class of 2024 at the annual Commencement celebration on May 11, 2024, conferring degrees on 292 undergraduate students and 119 graduate students, including the inaugural graduate cohort for the Master of Public Health. The day was marked by celebrations with family and friends, including the Baccalaureate service the night before. Baccalaureate speaker James Chen, M.D., Ph.D., was awarded an honorary doctorate. 

  1. On the same weekend as the 2024 Commencement celebration, rowing powerhouse duo and 2024 graduates Tiana Fox ‘24 and Lucy Hopkins ‘24 celebrated back-to-back National Championships in the women’s 2x event. This is the second national title the team has brought to Gordon. 

  1. In the fall Rachel Brennan ‘24 placed 62nd in the country at the 2023 Cross Country National Championship. In the spring Brennan returned to the National Championships, this time for track. Brennan placed 12th in the 10,000m, earning her second team All-America. 

  1. Gordon College announced Jason Linders as the new director of athletics for the Fighting Scots. Linders comes to Gordon with nearly 20 years of experience in sport management at organizations including Chicago State University, Grand Canyon University, the University of South Florida and the University of Nevada. 

  1. Gordon College bid farewell with gratitude to multiple beloved faculty and staff as they entered retirement. This included a cornerstone of the Gordon campus, Dan Tymann. Tymann worked in nearly every department at Gordon during his 18 years of faithful service. In every position he held, he served with humility, tireless care, a prayerful heart and a commitment to keep Christ at the center of everything. 

  1. In celebration of the Clarendon Scholars program’s 20th anniversary, the College announced the receipt of an anonymous $1.49 million gift toward endowing the program. This gift, given by a Gordon alum, was one of the largest to Gordon this year and the largest to the Clarendon program in the College’s history. 

  1. The Center for Faith and Inquiry welcomed numerous well-known and accomplished speakers in 2023-2024 as part of the “One and The Many” annual theme. Speakers included: 
  • Georgetown University’s Steven Harris, a faith-based public policy expert and scholar of American religious history and African American studies 
  • Micheal O’Siadhail, an Irish poet who presented his approach to navigating questions of self and service 
  • Dr. Jeffrey T. Young, lecturer in economics and business and author of Adam Smith’s Theory of Value and Distribution: Economics as a Moral Science Once Again 
  • Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church  

  1. Oleksiy Svitelskiy secured his fourth NSF grant of $400,000, the largest NSF grant Gordon has ever received. The grant is a continuation of a collaboration with the Ekinci Group at Boston University, an R1 institution. Dr. Kristen Siaw will be his co-primary investigator on the grant. 

  1. We completed an alumni survey to help us better understand how to communicate and engage. Thanks to all who participated! Notable results included that half of respondents indicated they would take advantage of opportunities provided by Gordon to inspire their love for God, neighbors and the world. For more information about participating in further surveys, please get in touch with [email protected]

  1. Gordon’s interactive production of the musical Godspell—performed March 15 to 16 and 21 to 23—gave the iconic 1960s show a modern refresh to make it fun and compelling for Christian and non-Christian audiences alike. The show received a highly favorable reception, selling out for every performance. 

  1. Gordon College was chosen to be part of a select group chosen by NetVUE to receive a Grant for Fostering Leadership for Communities of Faith from the Council of Independent Colleges. This grant, totaling $39,844, may be used to develop or strengthen programs designed to support students who are exploring future leadership roles in communities of faith. The grant will oversee a collaboration between the Dokes Fellows program and the Strategic Partnerships Office with Andrew Breton. 

  1. Gordon welcomed faith leaders from across New England to campus in February for the Faith Leaders Gathering. The day was marked by opportunities for prayer, encouragement, community and learning under the direction of J. R. Briggs of Kairos Partnerships. 

  1. Gordon College was recognized as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduates according to The Princeton Review. Gordon was profiled in The Princeton Review’s new edition of its annual college guide, The Best 389 Colleges: 2024 Edition. This is the 10th consecutive edition to include Gordon. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,600 four-year colleges are profiled in the book. 

  1. Gordon College’s signature outdoor program, La Vida, won the Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice awards for Best of North Shore (BONS) 2023 Best Kids’ Outdoors Program by Northshore Magazine. Located on the Gordon College campus, La Vida offers experiential outdoor programs for tweens, teens and college students, as well as professionals and churches. First-year students at Gordon participate in La Vida through a 12-day backpacking expedition or a seven-week, on-campus discovery course as part of their core curriculum. 

  1. Professor Sharon Galgay Ketcham was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Cecil B. Day Foundation as a part of her work to enrich spiritual formation at Gordon. At Gordon’s annual Matriculation Chapel, Ketcham outlined the three aspects of faith that reflect different dimensions of the human experience: cognitive (“faith as believing”), affective (“faith as trusting”) and behavioral (“faith as acting”). This work supports Gordon’s commitment to Shalom—a right ordering of relationships and actions resulting in the affirmation of human dignity and the flourishing of community. 

  1. For the first time in years, the annual celebration of Homecoming was back on the quad for 2023. On Friday, September 29, 2023, Gordon’s Homecoming and Family Weekend kicked off with an evening reception honoring nine alumni for their impactful work and faithfulness to Christ. Get to know the recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards here