Celebrating Brenau’s accomplishments in 2021

Dec 8, 2021
Brenau Staff

As another calendar year comes to a close, we celebrate Brenau’s accomplishments from 2021, from growing our academic programs with excellence to affirming our past and preparing for the future.

With this solid foundation of excellence, we are prepared for a strong start to 2022 that will include the unveiling of the university’s strategic plan and a refreshed branding campaign.

The following is a sampling of what we accomplished during 2021.

Growing programs with excellence

Enriching our culture

  • Brenau University’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi earned national recognition after achieving Circle of Excellence Gold status for 2021-22.
  • The Brenau University Department of Physical Therapy, along with clinical partner Northeast Georgia Health System, recently joined the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy’s National Consortium of Clinical Educators.
  • The University of Georgia, located in Tbilisi, Georgia, granted Ken Frank, director of Brenau’s the Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies program, and Mary Lou Frank, adjunct instructor at Brenau, honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of their support of conflict resolution efforts and competitions across the world.
  • President Anne Skleder joined the Women’s College Coalition board of directors and was named board treasurer of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education.
  • Every Golden Tigers athletic program achieved National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-Academic Team status, with each team having at least a collective GPA of 3.0.
  • The softball team made the NAIA tournament after winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference championship, while members from the track and field team competed in the NAIA championships.
  • During the 2021 calendar year, more than 830 students graduated, including the first two students in the Doctorate in Education program and the first interior design graduates of Brenau’s partnership programs with Anhui Normal University in Wuhu, China.
  • Over 3,000 total students were enrolled in classes during the 2020-21 academic year.

Community impact

  • Health Services, along with nursing and physician assistant students, helped to provide more than 10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations for the Gainesville-Hall County region.
  • Brenau launched a cooperative programming effort with local retirement community Lanier Village Estates to bring educational opportunities to their facility.
  • A cooperative initiative was established with Quinlan Visual Arts Center for student engagement and programming, including efforts specifically focused on Brenau’s Panamanian students.
  • Dr. Michael Stubblefield, who joined Brenau’s Board of Trustees earlier this year, loaned a portion of his collection for Bird Art in the Age of Discovery and Beyond: Works from the Stubblefield Collection. Brenau’s Permanent Art Collection via the Arader Natural History Art Fund has been able to grow due to Stubblefield and his wife, Elyn, who provided funding for the purchase of numerous botanical prints.
  • The GOLD Speaker Series continued with Phillippa Lewis Moss, director of the Gainesville-Hall County Community Services Center, and Maria Rita Nahum, a noted Argentinian journalist, executive coach, political advisor and nonprofit leader. The series is an ongoing component of The Women’s College’s GOLD Program and features highly accomplished and trailblazing women.

Affirming our past and moving forward to the future

  • The Brenau University Board of Trustees welcomed six new members in 2021.
  • The giving participation rate for the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff again achieved 100%.
  • Major facilities projects were undertaken all across our campuses, from the refurbishment of the Wheeler House — home of our admissions efforts — to a refresh of Norcross location interiors, to exterior work on the Parklane apartments. In total, over $1 million was invested in these and other improvements.
  • The Working Group on Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence completed their charge to develop strategies in those areas. Margie Gill, associate professor in the Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling and assistant clinic director at the Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services in Gainesville and Norcross, was named the interim executive director for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives to advance these efforts.
  • Faculty and staff have prepared for the SACSCOC accreditation report to be submitted later this fall in support of our decennial review in spring 2022.
  • The Strategic Planning process took place in a collaborative and open fashion over the past year, with hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees participating in the effort. The new plan will be rolled out in early 2022.
  • In collaboration with a consulting firm, Brenau has completed a refresh of our branding and vision statement that will be rolled out in early 2022.
  • The university ended the fiscal year in a very strong position, with more than $60 million generated from tuition and fees (17% increase over last year,) an endowment valued at over $61 million (25% increase over last five years,) over $119 million in net assets (30% increase over last five years) and operational liquid assets of over $20 million (our largest amount ever.)