EASTON — Officials at Stonehill College have announced a major academic reorganization they say is designed to further enhance the College’s strengths and better position it to connect students with emerging career opportunities.

The 69-year-old Catholic college recently reorganized its academic program into the School of Arts & Sciences and the Leo J. Meehan School of Business, officials said in a news release.

“This shift will mark a new era for the College as it leverages its strengths to attract and retain first-class faculty, develop and strengthen course options, and expand our diverse portfolio of innovative programming,” said Provost Joseph Favazza, in a statement.

Along with this academic reorganization, the College is investing more than $50 million in new facilities, with construction of an Academic and Welcome Center on which work has already started. In spring 2018, the College will also break ground on a School of Business building.

Located on the main quad, these two new buildings will transform the academic heart of Stonehill’s campus, officials said.

In explaining the decision to reorganize, officials said that in six years, Stonehill will mark its 75th anniversary.

"This upcoming milestone presents an opportunity to reflect on our challenges and successes, and to ensure that we enter the next quarter century ready to thrive in a constantly shifting higher-education marketplace. The reorganization accomplishes that goal, ensuring that Stonehill will adapt successfully in the decades to come. Given the trends in demographics, technology, higher education itself, and in the globalization of the economy, we recognize that change is imperative for continued progress," the news release said.

It went on to say that, "Having followed the trends and responded to the interests of students and their families, faculty, alumni and friends, we are now turning our attention to strengthening our already strong business program. A state-of-the-art space, the Meehan School of Business will do for business what the Shields Science Center has done for the sciences at the College."

About the Leo J. Meehan School of Business

Encompassing accounting, finance, international business, economics, healthcare administration, management, and marketing, the Meehan School of Business "will bolster Stonehill’s already robust business programs through courses that keep students ahead of a rapidly changing economy with an expansive portfolio of internships, externships, study-abroad opportunities, and new, additional opportunities for experiential learning and scholarship," the release said.

In June, Stonehill alumnus and trustee Leo Meehan, the president and CEO of the W.B. Mason Company, for whom the building and school will be named, made a $10 million commitment toward the construction of the schoo, along with his W.B. Mason partners, John Greene and Steven Greene.

“This new academic structure is a critical step that will enhance our already strong reputation in the market, allowing us to enroll the best and brightest students and hire and retain top-notch faculty,” said Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., president of Stonehill College, in a statement. “Together, these new schools will build upon our success — ensuring that the College is continuing to prepare students to be innovative thinkers who lead with compassion, while caring for one another within our community and beyond.”

Continued Denning, “We are also deeply grateful to Leo Meehan for his extraordinarily generous $10 million contribution to the College and our School of Business. Thanks also to the support of so many dedicated alumni and friends, we are able to invest in our campus and build state-of-the-art facilities that will enhance student learning."

Dean of the Meehan School of Business Debra Salvucci said the new building and reinforced emphasis on the best in business education answers a growing interest from Stonehill students in pursuing careers in business, healthcare, and economics.

“The Leo J. Meehan School of Business brings together programs with already robust foundations and proven records of success — I am excited to guide that transition and lead us forward,” said Salvucci. “We are prepared to take advantage of our first-class facility, world-class technology and modern, adaptive classrooms to offer real-world training for our students.”

 Dean of the School of Arts & Science Peter Ubertaccio, also in a statement, said that with all of the liberal arts and science programs now under one banner, the College is able to more comprehensively steward the development of students and ensure they graduate prepared to excel in the workforce and to contribute to their community.

“With the School of Arts & Sciences, we are poised to recommit ourselves to academic and intellectual rigor, faculty development, and innovative pedagogies that challenge our students and prepare them to solve problems under real-world pressures,” said Ubertaccio.