Southeast Arkansas College recently announced its newest student success initiatives, which include a capital fund-raising campaign intended to provide updated learning facilities, scholarships and other student resources.


SEARK officials made the announcement Sept. 13 during the Business After Hours event at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Attendees included college personnel as well as several business partners, government officials and community members, according to a news release.


One of the new SEARK initiatives is the building of contemporary classrooms and learning labs equipped with innovative technology to best prepare students for their future careers.


SEARK Board of Trustees member Paul Bennett and Rosalind Mouser, chair of the SEARK College Foundation, provided opening remarks and welcomed the guests.


SEARK President Steven Bloomberg discussed the college’s continued commitment to student success.


“When looking at a project or idea for our college, I’ve always encouraged faculty and staff to ask the question ‘why not’ instead of saying ‘why’,” Bloomberg said.


Bloomberg shared the story of a student who, despite a lifetime of struggles, had successfully completed the GED program through SEARK’s Adult Basic Education program and was now attending SEARK to earn a college degree.


This student’s story was “an example of the ‘why’: why we need to continue growing new initiatives for student success and why we need to ensure students have the resources they need to achieve that success,” Bloomberg said.


Bloomberg also introduced SEARK’s first Director of Development, Barbara Dunn. As the founding director of the newly formed Department of Development, Dunn will lead SEARK’s new “friend-raising and fund-raising” initiatives, as well as serve as a liaison to business and community members who wish to become part of the SEARK student success legacy, according to the release.


Sharing her vision and mission, Dunn stated her continued commitment to moving the college and community “onward and upward.”


“I am excited to share our compelling vision throughout our market area, to capitalize on the endless opportunities we have to help students, and to continue to work with the great people in Pine Bluff and its surrounding areas,” Dunn said.


Dunn also announced that the SEARK College 60th Anniversary Masquerade Gala will be held March 2, 2019. The event will celebrate the college’s service to its students and the community. The event will also mark the college’s official launch of its fund-raising campaign.


Dunn stated she will be reaching out to business and community members to discuss how to “establish or grow a partnership that will help move our students and community forward to a better future.”


For details on the Department of Development or to support SEARK’s student success initiatives, contact Barbara Dunn at 870-543-5957.