President’s Welcome

Welcome to Beacon College!  Our website is a portal to information and discovery, about the College, about you, and about the rich connections that exist between us.

We are a proud undergraduate community, nationally ranked and internationally recognized for high academic standards, a devotion to the collegiate preparation of individuals who learn differently, and unparalleled student and graduate outcomes.  The Beacon Experience embraces, supports, and challenges the best of us. You will like it here!

This year, the College celebrates our 30th Anniversary and our legacy as the nation’s first accredited four-year (baccalaureate) institution of higher education to fulfill our distinct mission.  Over these pioneering decades, Beacon has, through deliberate and “boundary-eclipsing” action, taught American higher education much about effective instruction and student success for collegians with learning and attention issues.  We are privileged to continue this work across a growing number of countries internationally as well.

I am privileged to be commencing my sixth year as the College’s president in 2019, and can say with the understandable pride of my colleagues and the larger community, that Beacon’s strides of the past several years have been nothing short of striking, exceeding even our most ambitious projections.

All of the advances realized at Beacon over a sustained period of transformation are brought into singular focus with Beacon’s recently announced ten-year reaffirmation (re-accreditation) through 2028 by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).  Last spring under the leadership of our Provost, Dr. Shelly Chandler, Beacon achieved its ten-year reaffirmation with no Commission findings or recommendations, a rare and remarkable achievement.  

And yet, as changes have transformed our campus and strengthened our offerings, it is essential to emphasize what has endured.  At Beacon College, we—every faculty member, staff person and administrator—are dedicated to helping our students create seamless transitions in their lives.  Those transitions are often monumental and include:  the move from living with parents to living independently; the mindset shift from relying upon the provision of learning accommodations to becoming a strong self-advocate and lifelong learner; and the continuum from high school to a satisfying college experience—possibly through graduate school—and, ultimately, to fulfilling work.

Today’s accolades and soaring rankings attributable to our nation-leading student outcomes are gratifying; still, Beacon is a community that is never self-satisfied.  Our work is too important.

Our evolution of recent years is directed and not haphazard.  Assuring that our greatest ambitions are realized for our liberal arts-based community, the College adopted a five year comprehensive Strategic Plan in 2016.   The Plan’s “transformational” focus has been animated by 5 strategic goals, among which are arranged 32 objectives or “calls to action”.  The institutional change and growth that we envisioned through the careful implementation of this comprehensive Plan have surpassed the most far-reaching of our aspirations and calendars.  Prominent among the visible evidence of what we have accomplished are:

  • Enhanced degree options by adding a new Bachelor of Science program in Anthrozoology and elevating to the B.S.-degree level offerings in Business Management and Computer Information Systems (including the Web and Digital Media track).
  • Beautified the community and assured academic-inspired accessibility by opening a new pocket park at the center of campus with welcoming green space and water features, as well as reconstructing, repurposing, and renovating collegiate buildings anew to create a true walking campus.
  • Modernized our living-and-learning options by constructing the first single bed, suite-style residence hall especially for incoming Beacon students to help support their healthy transitions into college life, as well as the continued upgrading of residences for upperclass students.
  • Improved athletic and recreational facilities by inaugurating new illuminated playing fields and enhancing our athletic center and intercollegiate intramural sports programs.
  • Created a transforming international experience for our students by initiating a semester-long Beacon in Tuscany program for essentially the same cost as a semester on the Leesburg campus (our students also have the option of participating in shorter-term group international experiences each summer).
  • Built a bridge for high school students and their parents by offering Beacon Prep to assist students and their parents (enrolled in separate and distinct tracks) to anticipate, plan for, and make the transition from high school to college; further, for “rising” junior and senior high school students only, Beacon has launched the popular Summer for Success program on campus each July to help these emerging adults with learning and attention issues to envision and prepare for an effective transition to college.
  • Strengthened our priority to enhance career development by recruiting a cadre of veteran professionals, continuously upgrading our integrated four-year career development curriculum, fostering robust new internship opportunities, and inviting recent graduates to join our first-ever supportive career community.

The accomplishments I have rehearsed all too briefly above, and many others, are tangible expressions of our seriousness of purpose in fashioning a collegiate community through which students engage with the rich possibilities of the liberal arts tradition, thus discovering the greatest good of building happy, ethical, productive, and abundant futures.

As you step across the electronic threshold that is our web presence, I invite you to further explore Beacon for yourself—both here on our site and through an in-person visit to our Leesburg campus.


George Hagerty, Ph.D.