The best of the 2023-2024 academic year

Class of 2024 Flag

As we look back at the 2023-2024 academic year, we celebrate all we’ve accomplished and all that’s ahead.

Read below for several highlights and share your favorite Gettysburg College moments on social media: #gettysburgreat.

Commitment to the future

Focusing on the Strategic Direction of Gettysburg College, more than 200 key stakeholders gathered for the Summit on the Future last September. The event featured a range of interactive and impactful learning experiences focused on the future of the institution and its promise of providing A Consequential Education to every student through the Gettysburg Approach.

Attendees explored the multiple facets of the Gettysburg Approach through presentations with expert faculty and staff. Empowered to be changemakers, our students gain the tools and enduring skills most valued by employers today, according to research conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Ashley Finley, vice president of research and senior advisor to the president of the AAC&U, delivered a special presentation and noted Gettysburg’s unique approach to learning is ahead of the curve for how colleges and universities are responding to change.

“One of higher education’s greatest pressure points is the need for colleges to innovate in ways that effectively prepare students to succeed as professionals and citizens, while also being authentic to their institutional mission,” Finley said. “The Gettysburg Approach has nailed this balance. I’m excited to share this incredible model with other schools around the country.”

Learn more about the Strategic Direction for Gettysburg College.

Brandon Neely with two people in front of pyramids
Global study is a Career-Ready Experience. Brandon Neely ’23, a history major with minors in Civil War Era studies and public history, dedicated his Gettysburg College education to applying his learning about history from the classroom to geographical places of significance, such as Cairo, Egypt. (Photo courtesy of Brandon Neely ’23)

Experiencing the Gettysburg Approach

In Fall 2023, the Class of 2027 was introduced to the Gettysburg Approach, including our new Guided Pathways and Personal Advising Teams. Through the Gettysburg Approach, students gain a breadth and depth of knowledge and set of enduring skills —adaptability, communication, creativity, intercultural fluency, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork—to prepare them to thrive in a world marked by change and adaptation.

In February, Gettysburg College proudly announced that every student participating in the Guided Pathways will be guaranteed a Career-Ready Experience. A Career-Ready Experience could include at least one of the following experiences:

By partaking in a Career-Ready Experience, students will apply the consequential education they’ve gained at Gettysburg out in the world and enhance their effectiveness in the workplace upon graduation.

“We are excited about the Career-Ready Experience and are confident that the skills students gain through them will make a tremendous difference during their time at Gettysburg College and beyond,” said Associate Dean of Co-Curricular Education Jim Duffy. “A Career-Ready Experience will help students connect what they learn in the classroom to graduate schools and the professional workplace by providing diverse, dynamic experiences to prepare them for a lifetime of career advancement and personal success.”

Learn more about Gettysburg College’s Career-Ready Experiences.

Gettysburg College’s all-time textbook savings have surpassed $1.6 million, including $300,000 saved in the Fall 2023 semester thanks to 104 zero-cost courses taken by more than 1,500 students. (Photo courtesy of Janelle Wertzberger, the assistant dean and director of scholarly communications at Musselman Library)

New initiatives launched

Gettysburg College is committed to its promise of providing its students A Consequential Education—one that gives them greater insight into who they are, what they want to accomplish, and how they will define and lead their own consequential life.

To support the student experience, the College launched a variety of new initiatives within the past year, including comprehensive cardiovascular testing and mental skills coaching for all student-athletes; WiFi upgrades to deliver best-in-class network capabilities; and textbook savings for students, surpassing $1.6 million to help counter rising costs.

More new initiatives are planned for the 2024-2025 academic year, including new stadium lights and a renovated concert hall.

Donna Jean Brogan Quantitative Learning Center
The Donna Jean Brogan Quantitative Learning Center was dedicated on Oct. 2 in front of students, faculty, and staff. (Photo by Kailey White ’21)

The Donna Jean Brogan Center for Quantitative Learning opened

Funded by a grant from the George I. Alden Trust and a generous donation from Donna Jean Brogan ’60, the Donna Jean Brogan Center for Quantitative Learning—located in the lower level of Glatfelter Hall—opened its doors in the fall.

Dedicated in October, the center is designed to help ensure Gettysburg College students gain the knowledge and enduring skills in quantitative subjects needed to thrive in a society increasingly dependent on data literacy and discernment. Students can utilize the spacious and accessible 24-hour hub to study, receive mathematics and chemistry peer tutoring, meet with faculty mentors, and tackle complex equations on the space’s expansive whiteboard surfaces.

Discover how the Donna Jean Brogan Center for Quantitative Learning empowers students in a data-driven world.

graduates for the master's program at the Majestic Theater
Gettysburg College, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History welcomed their inaugural class of graduates for the master's program on July 15, 2023 at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, PA. (Photo by Jason Minick)

Expanded online master’s program

Beginning in Summer 2024, in response to growing demand, the Gettysburg College-Gilder Lehrman Institute MA in American History expanded its offerings to include community college instructors and introduced a new MA+15/30 offering.

“On behalf of Gettysburg College, our partners at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the remarkable faculty teaching in the program, we are pleased to build on the extraordinary success of our master’s program and make it accessible to even more of our nation’s dedicated teachers,” said Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano. “Educators play a central role in helping us to understand the lessons of our past, so together—as a nation and society—we can shape our brightest future. Our expansion of this program speaks powerfully to our commitment to today’s teachers.”

Learn more about this expansion for our online master’s program.

graduates for the master's program at the Majestic Theater
The Gettysburg Film Festival: The Art of Ken Burns was held throughout the town of Gettysburg in April 2024. (Photo by Sofia Gutierrez ’26)

Ken Burns returns to Gettysburg

On April 5-6, The Gettysburg Film Festival: The Art of Ken Burns took place in Gettysburg, showcasing American history and identity on screen. Co-hosted by Gettysburg College and the Adams County Historical Society, the festival was sold out at the Majestic Theater. It garnered attendees from 27 states across the country and Canada, underscoring the legacy that Burns has created.

Joining Burns were a number of special guests, including film producer Sarah Botstein, actors Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, Eisenhower Institute Chair Emerita Susan Eisenhower, and musicians Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. On April 5, Burns also visited campus for a student event, during which he reiterated the lessons history can teach us about upholding the duties entrusted as American citizens during consequential elections.

“Every day, it’s your choice to stand for the ideals of our nation—to push our country to ensure the American promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not just empty promises or clever words,” said Gettysburg College Political Science Prof. Alauna Safarpour, who opened the event with a call to action for students. “You, too, can help to fulfill that ‘unfinished work,’ which Gettysburg will forever symbolize.”

Explore the event and how it highlighted the art of Ken Burns.

Historic fundraising results

Inspired to support the student experience, more than 9,700 alumni, families, employees, and friends demonstrated their generosity by raising a record $37.6 million in new gifts and commitments during the 2023-2024 fund year.

These historic results are thanks in part to several extraordinary commitments by individuals and families to enhance learning opportunities across campus, including a $10 million pledge by Daria Lo Presti Wallach ’76—the largest commitment by any living Gettysburg College donor in the 192-year history of the institution. Feeling inspired by the College’s direction, Trustee Emerita Joan Fischer Schweizer ’76 and Rick Schweizer ’76 followed suit with a commitment of $5.5 million toward several of the institution’s top priorities, including the Gettysburg Fund, global study, academic scholarship, and student-faculty research. The College was also the recipient of $1.5 million from Don Harward P’86, P’92 and the Endeavor Foundation to establish the Ann McIlhenny Harward Interdisciplinary Fund for Culture and Music.

Record results were achieved in the Gettysburg Fund and Orange & Blue Club, providing a foundation of annual philanthropic support for our students. The Gettysburg Fund totaled $4.15 million, strengthened by the generosity shown during the 10th annual Gettysburgives Challenge in early April. The Orange & Blue Club raised $980,005 including $516,000 over 36 hours during the Bullets Teams Challenge last November. The year culminated with an engaging Reunion Weekend, which welcomed more than 1,200 back to campus. Thanks to the efforts of more than 150 reunion volunteers, alumni honoring their milestone reunions raised $8.6 million in gifts and commitments, including a $3.1 million 50th Reunion Class Gift from the Class of 1974.

Learn how you can support Gettysburg College today.

Welcoming our newest Gettysburgians

On April 13, Gettysburg hosted Get Acquainted Day as hundreds of prospective students and their families visited campus to experience Gettysburg firsthand through campus tours and information sessions. As they explored Gettysburg, we invited students and their parents to learn about our academic programs and introduced them to dynamic co-curricular activities and opportunities to Do Great Work with us.

When the Class of 2028 joins us in August for the 2024-2025 academic year, members of the class will come from a record pool of more than 8,300 applicants to the College.

Visit Gettysburg College today to learn more!

Tracie Potts
Tracie Potts, executive director of the Eisenhower Institute, appeared on NBC News Now! in December 2023 to discuss how parents and educators view success in the classroom.

Newsworthy notations

Members of the College community filled headlines and bylines throughout the academic year, earning ink in more than 375 media outlets.

Faculty and staff landed more than 60 op-eds, with insight on topics ranging from touchdown celebrations in professional football to the impact of legal counsels at institutions of higher education.

Gettysburgians were featured in more than 100 national and international media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, ESPN, and USA Today. Locally, the College’s presence was apparent in the community by hosting unique events and exhibits showcasing a commitment to culture and society.

Read about the Gettysburg Approach in the media.

students in meeting
Gettysburg College has a strong institutional commitment to leadership for public purpose, especially in student-facing efforts, both curricular and co-curricular, such as the Eisenhower Institute Leadership Conference in January 2024. (Photo by Abbey Frisco)

Preparing students for the future

In April, President Bob Iuliano joined College Presidents for Civic Preparedness to advance civil discourse in higher education and prepare students to be engaged citizens. As Gettysburg College readies its students to lead lives of consequence and to explore the complex questions of our time through effective leadership and socially responsible citizenship. In the coming year, the College is planning a campus-wide series of programs to deepen students’ ability to communicate constructively across difference. The Eisenhower Institute, which prepares young adults for a lifetime of public, private, and nonprofit service, is also continuing its focus on non-partisan discourse.

Throughout the year, the College also worked toward a nationwide honor as one of 25 colleges and universities across the United States selected in June as part of the inaugural cohort of recipients for the Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification. A self-study team analyzed the College’s commitment to leadership for public purpose showed that Gettysburg has a strong institutional commitment to it, especially in student-facing efforts—both curricular and co-curricular—such as through the Guided Pathways, a defining element of the Gettysburg Approach.

The Gettysburg Approach guarantees our graduates enter the working world ready for their first job and every job after, throughout the entirety of their careers. This central commitment is why Gettysburg College ranks in the top 1% nationwide among liberal arts colleges for a 40-year return on investment, according to The Georgetown University Center on Education & the Workforce ROI Study: ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges.

“By bridging the readiness gap between college and career, the Guided Pathways program extends the reach and impact of a Gettysburg education,” said Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Jeanne Hamming. “The range and number of meaningful hands-on experiences offered to our students demonstrates our commitment to students during their time on campus and well beyond.”

Learn more about the value of Gettysburg College education.

Visit our news archive to read all our stories from the past year.

By Laken Franchetti ’24, Corey Jewart, Megan Miller, and Michael Vyskocil
Posted: 06/27/24

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