September 18 2015

Revitalized Campus, New Programs, Higher Enrollment Mark First Year as Part of UNH

OLD LYME, CONN.—This fall, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts welcomed 45 new students - its largest incoming class ever – to a physically and academically revitalized campus.

One year after becoming the fifth college at the University of New Haven both Lyme and UNH have seen multiple benefits accrue.

Because of the merger of the two institutions, students from the main campus are enjoying enhanced learning spaces and academic offerings in Old Lyme. In turn, students from Lyme are taking classes at UNH’s main campus and online. 

“Although it’s early in the process, we’ve already successfully begun the integration of students and classes with students from both campuses enjoying the rich array of offerings now available,” said Lyme Campus Dean Todd Jokl.

With the assistance of UNH’s financial resources, Lyme now boasts refurbished studios and common areas, additional faculty, and the successful new Center for Arts Programming that welcomes members of the community and high school students for artistic study. 

With UNH’s strength in graphic design and Lyme’s focus on figurative and representational art - drawing, illustration, painting, and sculpture - students are enjoying complementary programs.

A newly refurbished digital studio with state-of-the-art iMacs, software for digital imaging, illustration, animation, and 3D Modeling is now being used by students. All studios have been given facelifts, the library was redone and now boasts a new digitized visual resource lab, and the student common area, Brundage Commons, has been refreshed. 

And, Jokl is quick to point out, that for the first time the 44 beds in the school’s student housing, which was constructed in 2013, are fully occupied by Lyme students.
“Studying in an area with such rich artistic traditions, natural beauty, restaurants and shops, yet in close proximity to UNH’s main campus and the cultural offerings of Providence, New Haven, and Hartford, have clearly made Lyme attractive to prospective students,” Jokl said.

Buoyed by the record number of incoming students and an undergraduate population of now more than 100, Jokl says, “We will continue to work on awareness of our school and increase application numbers, both in-state, and regionally.” In the coming year or so, he expects to see the school’s student body double, he says.

“From an enrollment standpoint, the pairing of UNH and Lyme really is the classic win-win situation,” notes Walter F. Caffey III, UNH’s vice president for enrollment management. “We have the opportunity to build upon Lyme’s strong local and regional presence, and, at the same time, promote its high quality offerings when we recruit nationally and abroad. UNH’s footprint has been enhanced considerably in recent years. The addition of Lyme allows us to access an even more creative, talented and diverse student population. It’s all very exciting.”

Jokl lauds the resources UNH has brought to Lyme, saying all students, whether those on the main campus or in Old Lyme, have been enthusiastic about the new opportunities before them.
Last summer, five students from Lyme took advantage of UNH’s campus in Tuscany, Italy, and studied art and art history in Prato. 

This summer, accomplished landscape painter and alumnus T. Allen Lawson returned to Old Lyme to teach a week-long workshop that drew rave reviews.  Adults and young aspiring artists in the region, state and well beyond enjoyed a number of workshops taught by Lyme’s faculty through the school’s new Center for Arts Programming.

Jokl says the community and its many supporters are an important component in Lyme’s vitality.
In discussing fine arts and their place in today’s world, Jokl points out that problem-solving lies at the heart of any arts education, especially one at Lyme and UNH. 

“We’re teaching critical creative thinking,” Jokl asserts.  “When you’re working on a still life or piece of art, you’re solving problems that don’t necessarily have a right answer. That process directly relates to the complex problems found in today’s world and develops creative problem-solving that employers love.” 

Art is the application of creativity, he says.  “Creative thinking is critical in problem solving, whether it be in a studio setting or in industry.  Our students graduate prepared for meaningful careers as artists, in the creative economy, and beyond.”

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is a college of the University of New Haven. Its mission is to educate aspiring artists through a rigorous studio curriculum rooted in figurative and representational art. The college offers a comprehensive liberal arts education essential for advanced critical and creative thought. For more information, visit
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.

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