Benedictine 2020 Sets ‘Path to Greatness’ for Kansas College

Benedictine College’s Strategic Plan to Raise Academic Profile

  • Wednesday, March 21, 2012

“Benedictine 2020 is Benedictine College’s plan to build one of the great Catholic colleges in America.”

So begins the strategic plan that commences implementation on March 21, 2012, the Solemnity of St. Benedict.

The plan is the product of extensive discussion and collaboration by the faculty, staff, administration, students and the board of directors for more than a year.  The Benedictine College board of directors approved the plan Feb. 24.

“Benedictine 2020: A Vision for Greatness allows us to achieve a leadership position in each aspect of our mission: dynamic community; thriving faith life; and inspiring scholarship,” said President Stephen D. Minnis. “This plan takes us to the year 2020 and to a whole new level.”

“Benedictine 2020 focuses on achieving academic excellence,” says the plan. Then it lists four priorities, before spelling out plans beneath each one:

• Priority 1 will add more faculty in an effort to “Recruit, retain and develop one of the great Catholic college faculties in America.”
• Priority 2 will sharpen the college’s emphasis on “real results” for students in order to “Enroll, engage and educate students capable of transforming the world through intellectual, personal and spiritual greatness.”
• Priority 3 recognizes that the college has built nine new residence halls since the year 2000, as well as a grotto and state-of-the-art new academic center and seeks to “Build, maintain and beautify the facilities and technological infrastructure needed to serve our mission with excellence.”
• Priority 4 will dramatically increase the college’s endowment as it seeks to “Secure, sustain and steward the human and financial resources necessary for one of the great Catholic colleges in America."

Under the new plan, the school will add a million dollars to its yearly academic budget by the year 2020. Read the plan and supporting materials at:

“Benedictine 2020 is a significant step forward for Benedictine College,” said Dean of the College Dr. Kimberly Shankman. “The college is committing resources and incentives to its academic mission that will allow us to achieve even higher levels of academic excellence.”
The college is launching Benedictine 2020 in conjunction with two exciting developments:

• Ferrell Academic Center Opens. The campus’ new signature building, the Ferrell Academic Center, opened for classes on March 12. The state-of-the art facility houses the School of Business, the Education Department, the Theology Department and the Philosophy Department. It was the centerpiece of a $70 million fundraising campaign completed on Jan. 1, 2012.
• New Website Launches. In February, the college launched a cutting-edge new website. The site,, was designed and developed with VML, a worldwide advertising agency headquartered in Kansas City.

“The Ferrell Academic Center is impressive, and the new website is exciting, but they are just tools for us to accomplish the goals of Benedictine 2020: A Vision for Greatness,” said Minnis.

Benedictine 2020 is also a strong reaffirmation of the school’s Catholic identity.

“Benedictine College is committed to sharing with all members of our community the beauty and mystery of the Catholic faith as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and handed down through the teachings of the Church,” says the plan. “As a Catholic college, we consider faith and reason as ‘two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of the truth.’ [John Paul II, Fides et Ratio]  Benedictine 2020 is aimed at fostering this understanding of the distinctive benefit of a Catholic education.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, First Things and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

For more information about Benedictine 2020:


Benedictine 2020 Website

Strategic Plan