President Lesperance welcomes the new school year


President Wayne Lesperance has begun his second year as the President of New England College. Lesperance has plans that he wants to implement over the next few years and there are some things Lesperance wants now: such as student happiness.  

“I would say first that it’s exciting to have students back, it felt like a long summer, and it’s very quiet in Henniker without them, so I’m really thrilled to see our students back and those first few days…there’s just a lot of positivity and excitement. And so far, knock on wood, so good, it looks like students are having positive experiences and that’s something we care a lot about,” he said.  

 Another priority is the growth of the school and getting enrollment back to NEC’s pre-COVID numbers, he said.

“It’s sort of getting back to where we were. COVID really hurt us and colleges across the country. So, we’ve had a goal for years to get to 5,000 students. That’s online, undergraduate, and graduate. We were pretty close to 5,000, then COVID hit and now we’re just over 4,000. So, there’s across all modalities, undergraduate, on campus, online, and graduate where we have opportunities to grow. The good news is that this year we have the largest incoming class of students that we’ve had since COVID hit,” he said. 

President Lesperance has seen changes that he welcomed during his first year in office finally come to fruition, such as the rollout of new programs.

“We have this new nursing program and its fantastic. We have over 100 nursing students in it this fall. It’s right now our fasting growing program, so that’s exciting. So, for me the question is what’s the next new program or new big thing we can do to attract a lot of students? So, we’re looking at that as a team and seeing what that would look like. We want to know from students what they’re looking for in terms of what they want to study.” 

Another accomplishment in Lesperance’s first year was the first “Big Block of Cheese Day” where students, staff, and faculty have an opportunity to meet the President, have cheese, and talk with him.

“Every year as long as I am in charge, we are going to have Big Block of Cheese Day, and you’ve got to come out for it. We’ll have fun with it,” he said.

Lastly, President Lesperance wants students to know that students are welcome to stop by his office in the Administration building on Main Street.

“We’re really excited to have you with us. We’re excited to have those of you coming back, back. New students, we’re thrilled to have you here. I say this every chance I get, my door is always open, if you have a quick question or concern come see me. I love getting opportunities to talk to students. I think the thing I miss the most in my new job is that I’m not teaching so I don’t have that interaction with students in a classroom as much. So, if I have the chance to run into any of you on campus or you see me out and about come talk to me, let me know what’s going on with you and how we can do better to support you, or come on down to the office to see me here in the administration building. I promise I’ll make time and we can have a conversation.”

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