As part of his ongoing efforts to familiarize himself with the College and the surrounding communities, St. Joseph’s College President Donald Boomgaarden, Ph.D., traveled to Washington, D.C., on Thursday to meet with legislators and inform them about recent events at the College and issues that impact its students.
“St. Joseph’s College has long been an important stakeholder and contributor to the communities it serves,” Dr. Boomgaarden said. “It was gratifying to talk about the good work being done on our campuses with our elected officials, and even better to hear the high esteem they hold our students and programs in.”
During separate meetings with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and staff from U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) office, Dr. Boomgaarden discussed how the College’s emphasis on providing a superior education at an affordable cost has enabled it to enjoy steady growth in spite of recent demographic and policy challenges in New York state.
Dr. Boomgaarden also discussed the physical improvements at both campuses and how the College seeks to create lifelong learners that will continue to adapt and serve as assets to an ever-changing economy and workforce.
In his conversations with staffers on the Hill, Dr. Boomgaarden discovered that several of them had spent many years playing music and painting, but had to put it aside when they went to Washington. He shared his experiences about how music was an ever-present companion in his life to this day and of the vital role it plays in developing him as an educator and a leader.
“I enjoyed discussing our mutual interests in the arts, and offered my thoughts on how the artistic process has given me unique insights on solving problems,” said Dr. Boomgaarden. “It’s my hope that our conversation encourages them to revisit their love for the arts and to use the lessons learned to guide and enrich their work in service to the public.”