This semester, St. Mary’s is excited to welcome Gary Sherman as the new Vice President of Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions. Mr. Sherman, who has over 30 years of experience working at different colleges and universities in admissions, started his position on October 7, and has been settling in to the role and the community quite nicely.
When asked the question that is on everybody’s mind, he replied, “Obviously, what occurred is that there was a shortfall from where we were in the previous year, it was not as severe as originally thought. However when you consider that the budget was set at a much higher goal, that’s really where the big deficit has occurred. So in the planning of how enrollment would roll out this year there was an anticipation for more students and we certainly didn’t achieve more students, but not as many few than has occurred in the past.”
Mr. Sherman remains optimistic and confident, citing a clear and concise plan to get St. Mary’s back on track. He stated, “my goals are to do a good job in reversing that trend; it’s not going to be something that we can do overnight but the process has already begun with looking at new processes within the admissions office, taking a strong look at our financial aid program to realign that to be more attractive to a broader group of students that we may have missed in this past cycle and may have missed in previous cycles as well but particularly evident in this last one. And also to work very closely with the faculty and the staff and the students to help create those processes […] that make the experience at St. Mary’s smooth from start to finish.”
From speaking with him, it is clear that Mr. Sherman is passionate about his work and the school itself. He is particularly impressed with SMCM’s accessibility, citing our low debt ratio, which is the lowest of any college or university in the state of Maryland, as well as with the student body. “I was impressed when I came to the school this summer,” he said with a smile, “there were very few students on campus so it was more the college and the staff and the faculty that I met at that point. There were students who had been drawn back for the search committee, etc. and so those students that I met […], I guess I left thinking that I hope my son and daughter have the attributes that those young people have because I would be very proud.”
He also went on to say, “Students are here to get a great education, they’re here to learn from not only their faculty but also from their peers and have those in class and out of class experiences that are meaningful and that’s definitely I think a hallmark of this place. I observe a great deal of the educational enterprise that’s happening outside of the class just discussions that I’ve overheard, some discussions at lunch that I’m like ‘wow that’s really what this, you know, something good is happening in the classroom’ because the students are stimulated and talking about their class work and the projects outside of class as well.”
From speaking with him, it is clear to see that Mr. Sherman will be a valuable asset to the St. Mary’s community and school. He is extremely welcoming and embodies the St. Mary’s values of acceptance, passion, inclusiveness, and a commitment to excellence. We wish him the best of luck in his new position!