Open Letter of Thanks to Local Bennington Businesses from SVC President Karen Gross

August 26, 2011

On Friday, August 26th, SVC welcomed its largest group of new students in institutional memory. More than 240 new students will be joining our community for the Academic Year 2011-2012. Between students and their parents and friends, we had over 675 people on campus for move-in day. This growth has a very positive economic impact on the Town of Bennington.

A special Orientation treat this year for every new student was a welcome bag from local businesses that included everything from menus to flyers to discount coupons to maps, in addition to “Bennington Dollars,” which can be spent anywhere in town.

Our SVC new student population has grown more than 22% compared to last year, and our overall student population has increased 13%. Our workforce has grown as has our budget. We will have more than 550 students with us this academic year of whom 330 will be living on campus.

Our growth impacts on our region positively and, as is customary, we have quantified that impact. We estimate that, using standard multipliers, the College’s economic impact is in excess of $28 million in a single year and in excess of $300 million over the coming decade, given our anticipated and continued growth. These figures quantify the value of jobs, construction, employee tax revenue, purchases of goods and services including equipment, food, hotels, gas, clothing, school supplies, and room furnishings. Homecoming, athletic events, lectures and graduation are all events that bring visitors to campus, all of whom contribute to our local economy.

Through your outreach, we hope more and more students and their friends and families will enjoy all that the local Bennington businesses have to offer. There are many ways a town can show it cares about the colleges within their midst, and these welcome bags are proof of your effort to connect with us and our students. Thank-you. On behalf of the SVC community, we are most appreciative.

Karen Gross
President, Southern Vermont College
August 2011