Holy Names University’s President Hynes Meets Secretary of Education at the White House

News Release

Media contact:
Lesley Sims, Holy Names University, 510-436-1405 or sims@hnu.edu

Holy Names University’s President Hynes
Meets Secretary of Education at the White House

OAKLAND, CA; April 4, 2012 – William J. Hynes, Ph.D., Holy Names University’s (HNU) President, met Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, at the White House and participated in a roundtable discussion with administration officials and 12 other university and college presidents in a strategy session on college access, affordability and completion.

Serving first generation and diverse students, 50% of whom receive Pell Grants, these institutions have banded together in a group of some thirty similar institutions to form the Yes We Must Coalition to help Congress maintain the Pell Grants.  Dr. Hynes said, “I was honored to be present for this first-of-a-kind discussion.  Those assembled at the White House actively explored constructive solutions to bring down college costs, make higher education more accessible, affordable, and attainable.  Only in this way can America maintain its global leadership in higher education.”

“Coalition members are working to assure the critical support of Pell Grants for helping low income students go to college and to ensure that ‘every student in our country graduates from high school prepared for college and a successful career’ as stated in the White House’s Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last.  Holy Names’ own contribution is our innovative Early Admit Program that encourages high school students in the East Bay to prepare for and attend college.  If these students successfully take pre-collegiate courses and graduate from high school with a prescribed grade point, then they are already accepted into HNU with a scholarship,” said Dr. Hynes.

Dr. Hynes continued, “I’m especially delighted that the founding Secretary for this new coalition is our own Trustee, Sister Kathleen Ross, snjm, Ph.D., MacArthur Fellow and founding President of Heritage University.”

The coalition is committed to developing strategies to prepare people of all backgrounds to contribute to society.  They believe that the resiliency of American society is directly dependent upon successfully preparing students to be knowledgeable, innovative, and ethical leaders.


A liberal arts institution in the Catholic tradition, HNU is located at 3500 Mountain Boulevard, off Highway 13, in the Oakland Hills.  Founded in 1868 on the banks of Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland, the university moved to its present campus 54 years ago. HNU offers 19 bachelor’s degrees, five degree completion programs for adults, eight master’s degrees and various certificates and credentials.  HNU has been transforming people and liberating the spirit for nearly a century and a half.

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