Since being at the Mount, President Trainor has continued to develop his five-year plan for the Mount’s future as he has got to know the community that the plan will affect.
“This place has a strong character. The history is deeply rooted in a positive way, but obviously it’s the people that make the place special. I love the time I get to engage with students,” Trainor stated about what he has been liking the most so far.
Trainor said the most difficult aspect of his job is raising money. “It is hard to do everything we need to based on the tuition model. We need other sources of revenue,” said Trainor.
The five-year strategic plan is being developed as a team, which includes students, over the next year. It will be presented to the Board of Trustees for review either next summer or early fall. This plan includes providing learning and service opportunities to help communities outside of the Mount. Other goals include continuing to improve academics, staying committed to the liberal arts core curriculum, and a short-term capital campaign that will last three years.
Trainor says the priorities for this year are enhancing the community, improving operating excellence, and strengthening our governance.
“I do see us doing more of ‘exporting our goodness.’ There are programs we can offer that can help people outside of the Mount. This provides learning service opportunities to students and could potentially generate revenue. These are short term learning programs outside of the Mount,” Trainor added.
Another aspect of Trainor’s plan is the initiative, “Forward! Growing in Mind, Body and Spirit.” These three areas focus on enhancements of the mind, by improving the academic facilities; of the body, by expanding athletic facilities and growing sports teams; and finally of the spirit by renovating the Grotto and the Seminary.
“The ‘Forward!’ thing is the army in me,” Trainor admitted, “but really what I’m trying to do is move forward with the last year.”
There has been a lot of time spent with alumni, fundraising and outreach. Trainor is pleased to announce that within outreach there is a developing initiative with the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. This is where our founder, Father John Dubois, went after founding the Mount and became the bishop of New York City. He is now buried there under the front stairs.
The rector of the Cathedral, Monsignor Donald Sakano, reached out to Trainor and wanted a higher education partner to provide learning opportunities for parishioners and his local community. The Monsignor is building an education center called The Archbishop Hughes Center that will be finished in January. John Hughes was a Mount student that became the first Archbishop of New York.
The end goals are for students and faculty to have opportunities for engagement outside of the Mount, in addition to being another possible source of revenue for the university. “I think of this as planting a Mount flag in New York City,” stated Trainor.
Trainor also wanted to thank people for all of their efforts in Special Olympics. “It was a great example of the ethos of the Mount. They were living out their faith in service.”
Photo courtesy of Haley Phelps