Catawba ranked again among nation’s best regional colleges

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 12, 2013

Once again this year, Catawba College is included among the nation’s Best Regional Colleges, according to the 2014 edition of “Best Colleges,” published by U.S. News & World Report and released Tuesday. Catawba continues to be ranked 17th among 99 of these Best Regional Colleges in the South.
In total, 367 colleges are ranked as “Best Regional Colleges” according to geographic region (North, South, Midwest and West). Highlights of these rankings are published in the magazine available this month on newsstands and available online at A total of 1,376 colleges and universities from all geographic areas are ranked in this publication.
In recent years, Catawba has consistently placed in the U.S. News rankings. According to U.S. News, regional colleges “focus almost entirely on undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of all bachelor’s degrees granted) and in fields such as business, nursing and education.” Most of the regional colleges draw heavily from nearby states and grant few graduate degrees.
The U.S. News rankings for regional universities and regional colleges are based on several key measures of quality with 22.5 percent weight given to graduation and retention rates, 22.5 percent given to peer assessment, 20 percent to faculty resources, 12.5 percent to student selectivity, 10 percent to financial resources, 7.5 percent graduation rate performance, and 5 percent to alumni giving. Regarding the 7.5 percent graduation rate, U.S. News calculates the difference between a school’s six-year graduation rate for the class that entered in 2006 and the rate they predicted for the class. If the actual graduation rate is higher than the predicted rate, the college is enhancing achievement.
The weekly national news magazine U.S. News & World Report has been widely recognized for its annual “Best Colleges” edition. Founded in 1933, U.S. News & World Report is devoted to reporting and analyzing national and international affairs, politics, business, health, science, technology and social trends.
Fifteen students were commissioned for service as junior marshals by Catawba College President Brien Lewis in a ceremony held Aug. 28 in the Hurley Room of the Cannon Student Center.
These junior marshals, who assist College Marshal David Pulliam, assure that order and dignity are observed during formal occasions of the college, including opening convocation, awards convocation, baccalaureate and commencement. Marshals also serve at the annual Service of Lessons and Carols.
Junior marshals are chosen from the rising junior class each year based on academic excellence. The top students, by GPA, in the day program are selected at the beginning of the fall semester and the top in the School of Evening and Graduate Studies are selected at the end of block 3 in the spring semester. They embody the best of Catawba College in both academic achievement and service to the college community.
Junior marshals from the day program for the 2013-2014 academic year include Gregory W. Alexander of Goldsboro; Caleb Casper of Waxhaw; Kimberly N. Fesperman of Kannapolis; Kenneth N. Hipp of Salisbury; Janin Kassner of Giesen, Germany; Lauren M. Kennedy of Salisbury; Sloan E. Kessler of Onalaska, Wis.; Paul A. Kronenfeld of Greensboro; Taylor B. Lee of Kannapolis; Andrew T. McCollister of Rockwell; Payden L. Mitchell of Salisbury; Chelsea N. Retalic of Concord; Maggie M. Saunders of Huntington, W.Va.; Jacob Shepherd of Claremont; and Paige N. Smart of Mocksville.
Craig D. Turnbull, senior assistant director of athletics and director of NCAA compliance at Catawba College, was recently named National Chair of the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee. He was appointed to this post for a two-year term by the NCAA based on his athletic administration experience and his previous membership on the NCAA National Men’s Soccer Committee.
Turnbull has also served for the past two years as a member of the Men’s and Women’s National Tennis Committee, receiving that appointment from Patrick Britz, commissioner of the South Atlantic Conference. Now, he will chair the Division II committee and have responsibility for running the men’s and women’s tennis championships each spring. Those NCAA championships will be held in Orlando, Fla., in spring 2014. Turnbull’s committee is in the process of receiving bids and evaluating those bids from cities interested in hosting the tennis championships in spring 2015 and successive years.
Turnbull joined Catawba in 1998 as head men’s soccer coach and served in that capacity through the 2009 season. In 2001, he assumed additional responsibilities at the college, adding assistant director of athletics and director of NCAA compliance to his titles. In 2010, he was promoted to his current position. Since joining Catawba, Turnbull has served as adjunct instructor of physical education.
Prior to joining Catawba, Turnbull was head men’s soccer coach, coordinator of soccer operations and instructor of physical education at Louisburg College.
He earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education and his master of education degree in athletic administration from East Carolina University. While in graduate school there, he was assistant men’s soccer coach and a graduate assistant in the exercise and sport sciences.