St. Bonaventure University and Hilbert College Trustees Agree to Explore Closer Alliance

Two nearby Franciscan institutions consider options to build on 20-year partnership

HAMBURG, NY — St. Bonaventure University and Hilbert College, Franciscan institutions in New York, will explore options to build on their 20-year partnership and to enhance student access, opportunities and experience.

The Boards of Trustees of both institutions have approved a feasibility study to determine if the two institutions should expand their unique collaboration in academic programs, facilities and operational practices.  The two campuses are about 60 miles apart in Western New York.  St. Bonaventure has offered graduate programs on the campus of Hilbert College in a weekend format for the past two decades.

The Boards authorized the study that could lead to a strategic plan for “some form of further strategic alliance” between the two institutions.

“While the feasibility analysis is a ‘discovery process,’ we wouldn’t be investing in this effort if we didn’t think there were likely some ways in which St. Bonaventure and Hilbert College could collaborate more closely and achieve greater synergies,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D, president of St. Bonaventure, and Cynthia Zane, Ed.D, president of Hilbert College, in a joint statement.

“It is the right time to embrace new thinking and collaboration in higher education, and to consider changes that will serve our communities presently and in the years ahead,” the Presidents said. “The purpose of this study starts – and ends – with students who deserve the very best higher education experience we can provide.”

Presidents Carney and Zane noted that the higher education landscape in Western New York and throughout the eastern U.S. is bound for change, and they want to position their institutions to embrace that change. “Higher education has to do more to create synergies between institutions to drive program and curriculum innovation, attract top students and faculty, keep rising costs in check, and offer life-changing educational opportunities,” they said.

“Leading U.S. colleges and universities are turning to new models and initiatives,” Raymond Dee, chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Bonaventure said.  “We owe it to our institutions and the people we serve to stay out in front of higher education change, and be relevant, innovative and competitive.”

“We must and will be prudent, inclusive and thorough in our considerations,” Gretchen Wylegala Board Chair of Hilbert College stated.  “We are eager to identify opportunities to expand our longstanding and successful partnership with St. Bonaventure.”

About St. Bonaventure
The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.

About Hilbert College
Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.