October 15, 2015-

Dear Mount Ida Community,


It is with great pleasure that I share with you the receipt of an $8 million gift from an anonymous donor in recognition of our unwavering commitment to our mission and our record of success over the past few years.

This is the largest gift Mount Ida has received in our 116-year history.

The funds will be put to the best use; to support our mission to provide innovative and cutting-edge programs built upon a foundation of career-focused education, while at the same time enhancing our commitment to financial aid and scholarship support.

We are grateful for this extraordinary gift which confirms our growing success and affirmation of the education we provide each student. This generous support will help us to continue on our path to create the programs that lead to productive and growing professions, and maintain our approach which values each student from the moment they join us, throughout their years at the College and ultimately as they succeed throughout their professional lives.

Over the past three years, the College has grown in both the size of its freshman entering class and in total student enrollment.  In September, we welcomed the largest and most academically accomplished freshman class in our history.  This substantial growth at Mount Ida comes at a time of great change in higher education.  With the support of each and every one of you, our expansion has remained true to the College’s mission of inclusion and a strong sense of community.

Here are just a few points of pride that indicate the unique significance of Mount Ida:

  • More than 1/3 of our students are the first in their family to attend college
  • Our student body represents 26 states and 19 foreign countries
  • 85% of our graduates are employed in their degree areas within 11 months of graduation – well above the national average
  • Over 97% of our students receive significant financial aid to help them attain this education. This funding, as well as the individualized attention and support they receive, leads to their success

In addition to the College’s admission success, the physical campus has, as you know, also evolved. The College has invested more than $25 million to restore and modernize our historic buildings and playing fields, including the new student center, athletic fitness center and teaching laboratories for programs in veterinary technology and dental hygiene.  The past two years have also seen the opening of an expanded and innovative School of Design and new biology and chemistry laboratories in the School of Applied Sciences, which supports the College’s growing STEM programs. Approximately half of Mount Ida students major in the sciences programs, where enrollment has increased by 13%.

Again, thank you for all that you do every day for Mount Ida.  This gift is something we share.



Barry Brown


From travel courses in China and London to a highly sought-after internship at New Balance, Mount Ida Senior Alex Battaglia is going places. Though she chose Mount Ida partly because of its proximity to her home town of Lowell, MA, her Mount Ida experience has expanded her horizons tremendously.

Alex 3

As a high school student, Battaglia knew that she wanted to study graphic design in college, and Mount Ida helped her to make a smooth transition into college academic life. With one-on-one attention from dedicated faculty and staff, Battaglia thrived on campus, earning a place on the dean’s list.  During her first year, she applied to a travel course to China and received a scholarship from Santander Universities to cover her expenses. As a sophomore, she found her first internship in the Mount Ida College Advancement Office, designing graphics for alumni events, and was able to study abroad again, this time in London.


Battaglia continued working in the Mount Ida Alumni Office throughout her Junior Year. It was while working with alumni that she connected with New Balance Senior Apparel Demand Planner Steve Butch, who graduated from Mount Ida’s Sport Management Program in 1997. Battaglia made an impression on Butch, who ended up mentoring her, helping to edit her resume and recommending her for an internship at New Balance. Battaglia started her internship in May 2015. As a Lifestyle and Footwear Graphic Design Intern, she spent her summer helping to design the colorful patterns that will adorn New Balance sneakers hitting stores in 2016. New Balance was so pleased with Battaglia’s performance that they asked her to continue her internship into the fall.


Summarizing her time at Mount Ida so far, Battaglia says “I really urge other students to take full advantage of their time at Mount Ida.  Study abroad, make connections with faculty and staff, and engage with Mount Ida alumni network. There are scholarships that can help you travel far and wide and amazing alumni who can mentor you and help you launch your career.”

School of Design Gallery at Mount Ida College  – October 19, 2015 – January 26, 2016

Opening reception – Tuesday October 20 – 6:30 – 8:30 pm


It’s not the phrase artists expect to hear but Permission to Fail may be just what they need to spark the creative process.

That will be illuminated in a wide-ranging show of the sketchbooks of more than 30 premier graphic designers, illustrators and photographers at the show ”Permission to Fail” in the School of Design Gallery at Mount Ida College, from October 19 to January 26.

On hand to talk about their personal experiences at the Opening Reception on October 20 will be John McHugh, Design Director of Arnold Worldwide and Bob Domenz, founder and CEO of Avenue in Chicago.


“Great graphic design, illustration, or photography doesn’t spring fully formed from the mind of the artist. Most artists begin by creating a multitude of small thumbnail sketches usually in notebooks, sketchbooks, or journals,” says Jim Fitts, co-curator of the show and professor of graphic design.  “Today’s artists want to log on, design and save.  They need to take the time to fail – to discover –  to create.”

More than 200 prints of rough sketches, thumbnail drawings, and production notes as well as the resulting finished pieces will be on display.

Participating artists include: Gary Baseman, Donovan Beery, Louisa Bertman, Pep Carrió, John Cuneo, Chaz Maviyane Davies, Marc English, Ed Fella, Jim Fitts, Nathan Fox, Milton Glaser, Rodney Greenblat, Brad Holland, Eric Hunn, Mirko Ilić, Jeff Johnson, Lou Jones, John Langdon, Ross MacDonald, Jeffrey Marshall, Chaz Maviyane-Davies, Bill Mayer, John McHugh, Debbie Millman, Shogo Ota, Alison Poor-Donahue, Jeff Scher, Ross Storey, Scott Thomas, Rick Valicenti, and Cary Wolinski.


Guest Speakers:

John McHugh, Design Director of Arnold Worldwide. McHugh specializes in strategic design and branding and has more than 13 years of design and corporate identity experience.  He has worked with such companies as AT&T, Boeing, Cars.com, CVS, Fidelity, Jack Daniel’s, Kyocera, New Balance, Ocean Spray, Progressive and Santander.  His work has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation, the AIGA, the Brand New Awards, the One Show, HOW Magazine, the Telly Awards and the Society of Typographic Arts.

Bob Domenz is the founder of Avenue in Chicago where he focuses on helping executives launch new products and rethink new directions for their businesses and brands.  He works with a range of leading companies including Interface, Clarke, SCA Tissue, Boeing, Weber Grill, IBM, Harley-Davidson, General Electric and Coca-Cola, among others. He graduated from Harvard Business School’s Executive Management program on Brand and Marketing Strategy, is a member of the TED conference and on the organizing committee for the TEDx Midwest conference.


Co-Curators: Jim Fitts Visiting Professor, Graphic Design,

Alison Poor-Donahue
Associate Professor and Department Chair Design & Digital Media