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Nazareth University forging an international partnership with schools in Bermuda

Published January 09, 2024

Nearly a dozen students in Bermuda recently received their acceptance letters to Nazareth University. The twist? They were hand-delivered — all the way from Rochester, New York, by a familiar face from Nazareth’s admissions office — Frank Williams, associate vice president for advanced admissions and partnerships. 

Nazareth University is forging an international partnership with several high schools in Bermuda as part of its strategic plan to introduce more international students to Nazareth. It started last summer when the 11 students from Bermuda stayed on the Nazareth campus in Pittsford, a Rochester suburb, as part of a unique, life-changing experience with PeerForward – a national leader in using a peer-to-peer model to guide students in under-resourced schools to pursue four-year college degrees. Nazareth and PeerForward have partnered for two summers in a row, with Nazareth as the host location for PeerForward’s powerful four-day workshops that guide more young people to and through college.

Williams met the Bermuda students on campus last summer during the PeerForward experience, and he was thrilled to learn that they all applied to Nazareth. Then he was invited to an international college fair in Bermuda in December. Nazareth sent him to the small island with a double mission — attending the two-day fair and taking the acceptance letters to the students at The CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute, the two public high schools.

“Students from Bermuda have a much different mindset about their college experience than students in the U.S.,” said Williams. “Many of them want to get off the island, which is only 22 square miles, and they often go to the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia. Nazareth is now competing with the world for these students, and it is the personal connections we make with them that can make all the difference in them choosing to come to the U.S. to study at Nazareth.”

“The personal touch of coming to Bermuda to personally hand deliver acceptance letters to our senior students at The Berkeley Institute definitely made Nazareth University stand out,” said Cindy Smith, head of student services there. “This truly shows their commitment to building relationships with international students. I'm sure this will make a difference when our students are considering which institution they would like to attend.”

After attending the college fair, where Williams received close to 50 prospective student inquiry cards, both The CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute had ceremonies for Williams to present the Nazareth acceptance letters to the students that also contained valuable scholarship offers. A couple of the students told him on the spot that they are looking to attend Nazareth University. 

“These students were excited with the experience of visiting Nazareth University as PeerForward Leaders in July 2023,” said Leonard Santucci, senior counselor at The Berkeley Institute. “Little did anyone imagine the turn of events that has followed, as they are each now holding in their hands a letter of acceptance to their respective degree program of choice. Mr. Williams’ presence, participation, and facilitation at Nazareth and in Bermuda has forged a new relational dynamic for both institutions. It is my hope that we can now solidify acceptances as registrants for this fall.”

Williams is in discussion with the two-year Bermuda College, the only college on the island. Bermuda College is a two-year institution that regularly sends students overseas to complete their bachelors and masters degrees. 

“My hope is that Nazareth University can agree on an articulation agreement with Bermuda College for a possible 2 plus 2 program,” said Williams. Such agreements provide a formal pathway for students to transfer and move smoothly into specified bachelor’s degree programs. “Expanding our partnership to Bermuda College will give Nazareth an opportunity to enroll current students and incoming students from both public and private high schools across Bermuda.”

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Julie Long | Senior News & PR Officer | | (585) 389-2456 | (585) 781-8186 (cell)

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.

Frank Williams (far right), associate vice president for advanced admissions and partnerships, visits with PeerForward alumni in Bermuda. He hand-delivered Nazareth acceptance letters to the them at their schools.