Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Message from the Berklee College of Music

December 9, 2008

Dear Arnaldo,

For many of us, the holiday season reminds us of the importance of our family and friends and of strengthening the bonds among us all. The same is true for the extended Berklee family, especially at a time when the tumultuous global economy is compelling organizations and individuals everywhere to clarify priorities. Our No. 1 priority is our current students and making sure they have the resources they need.

With that in mind, I am pleased to announce a $2 million package of additional loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study support to help keep Berklee affordable for the spring 2009 semester. The program is aimed at domestic and international students coming from families with demonstrated financial need. While I harbor no illusions this effort will meet all the needs caused by the economic downturn, I know it will help many students and their families. We're also extending registration and payment deadlines to give students and their families every opportunity to cope with financial pressures.

- Alumni from around the world always remind me how important it is that Berklee remain current and cutting-edge. We take this mission seriously, and despite the changes in the economy, Berklee is experiencing a period of extraordinary activity and evolution.
- We are creating a new center for music business, liberal arts, and music therapy, with construction set to begin in 2009.
- Applications to the college continue to increase, with early-action applications up more than 30 percent from last year.
- Our new First-Year Student Advising Program (in its second year) is helping entering students navigate Berklee more effectively.
- Our efforts to create a greener campus have reduced our energy consumption by one-third over the last two years.
- We continue to be blessed with an array of wonderful visiting artists and clinicians, including Eva Ayllón, Daniel Lanois, John Mayer, Meshell Ndegeocello, Wayne Shorter, and Don Was, among many others.
- Our Giant Steps capital campaign has crossed the $30-million mark and we are well on our way towards our $50-million goal; in fact, our success in this effort has, in part, allowed us to create this new financial aid program.

The financial crisis may make it increasingly difficult for us to accomplish our goals as quickly as we would like. We know the same is true for you, so we are grateful for any donations you can make, especially now which will be earmarked directly for our scholarship efforts (Make a gift online).

In fact, it is during times of global anxiety that music reminds us of what is truly lasting and worthwhile in life: our common humanity and the friendship and compassion we feel for one another. I wish you the best for a happy and healthy holiday season and I look forward to welcoming you back to campus should you come for a visit.


Roger H. Brown
Berklee College of Music

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