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Sweeney to Find New Gray Bees in Africa


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nigeriaDirector of Strategic Initiatives, Erin Sweeney, has traveled to Lagos, Nigeria as part of an effort to recruit international students. If Ms. Sweeney is successful, Newark’s vibrant Nigerian community as well as the Hive will gain a few more members.

Ms. Sweeney has observed that colleges are becoming more diverse and said that Benedict’s should prepare its students for a more diverse world and college experience. She hopes that exposure to students from different parts of the world will help prepare them for the environment they will experience outside of Benedict’s.

“Bringing in a more international population will only help students,” Ms. Sweeney said.

She plans to use the connections she made during her two years as a U.S. State Department employee in Nigeria to meet with prospective students for St. Benedict’s.

Over her one week stay in Lagos, Ms. Sweeney will travel from school to school, promoting Benedict’s to students and parents in an effort to spark the interest of Nigerian families capable of paying full tuition and living expenses.

Because St. Benedict’s provides financial aid for so many students who need it, members of the Board of Trustees in conjunction with several school administrators agreed that Ms.Sweeney’s trip to Nigeria could bring in needed revenue if Nigerian students join the Benedict’s community.

“Part of the idea behind recruiting international students is to raise more tuition…The more tuition we’re able to bring in, the more room there is for tuition forgiveness,” said Sweeney.

Ms. Sweeney stressed that this trip was not only meant to attract paying students but students who fit what Benedict’s is about and will work well here. She is seeking good students who buy into the values taught at Benedict’s and want an American education.

The success of the trip, of course, remains to be seen.

“We may get nobody or we may get inundated with students…We’ll have to wait and see,” said Ms.Sweeney.

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Sweeney to Find New Gray Bees in Africa