Iona College Finalizes Deal to Acquire Concordia College Campus

Iona College Finalizes Deal to Acquire Concordia College Campus
Concordia College began operations at its Bronxville campus in 1908.

NEW ROCHELLE—Iona College of New Rochelle has finalized a deal announced earlier this year to acquire Concordia College’s 28-acre campus in Bronxville.

Concordia will cease academic instruction before the start of the Fall 2021 semester and Iona College plans to pursue plans to develop a school of health sciences on the Concordia campus.

Iona College officials state the transaction, which was first announced in late January, also creates opportunities for new student programming in the performing arts, varsity and club athletics and other extracurricular activities, areas where Iona has successfully been engaging students around shared interests.

No financial details of the transaction were released. The deal is expected to close this August. No firm timetable on when classes would begin at the Iona Bronxville campus was released at press time. A college spokesperson said that the earliest classes could be held at Iona’s new Bronxville campus would be January 2022.

Concordia President Rev. John A. Nunes, Ph.D., said of the deal, “As we honor Concordia’s rich, meaningful, relevant legacy, we look with hope to a time of new beginnings: for our graduates, our students, and Iona’s exciting plans for the Concordia campus, all fueled by the transformative power of education.”

Iona President Seamus Carey, Ph.D., added, “Concordia will forever leave its mark on the history and people of New York. Iona is an institution similarly grounded in faith, and it is our intention to fully honor Concordia’s legacy as we turn the page to a new chapter. With plans to develop a leading school of health sciences on the Concordia campus, Iona hopes to turn these challenging circumstances into a positive development for the students and communities we serve.”

In connection with its plans for Concordia, Iona recently hired its inaugural director of Performing Arts, who later launched and strengthened programs such as Irish Step, Dance Ensemble, Pipe Band and Pep Band. The college has also hired its first director of Club Sports, who will be developing an array of new athletic opportunities. With the addition of the Concordia campus, Iona is poised to offer even more programs, college officials stated.

“Engaged students get more out of their college experience,” Carey noted. “Engagement outside the classroom supports better performance inside the classroom and promotes physical, mental and spiritual maturity. It also leads to lasting relationships that will help them succeed in life. We couldn’t be more excited about the future at Iona, and today is an important step along that path.”

In addition, Iona has launched a nursing program this year that provides two educational pathways for students—a four-year undergraduate program and a 15-month second degree accelerated program.

Founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, Iona is a 45-acre campus in northern New Rochelle, located approximately three miles from Concordia. Iona College has a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world.

Concordia College, which was founded 140 years ago, announced in January that it will close beginning with the fall semester of 2021 due to financial problems.

The Concordia Board of Trustees reported that it had agreed to proceed on a formal agreement with Iona College to provide continued education for Concordia’s students through a teach-out, and to sell Concordia’s Bronxville campus to Iona College. Concordia originally operated in what is now Hawthorne, but in 1908 moved to its current campus in Bronxville.

Concordia officials stated earlier this year that the extremely difficult decision to close was the result of a “deliberative, thoughtful and strategic process, informed by immutable business realities. Set within the context of a changing and broadly challenged higher education sector, the college’s financial shortfalls were further accelerated by the global pandemic.”

News of the finalized deal with Iona was praised by government and business leaders, including Village of Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin, who said, “Bronxville has enjoyed many wonderful decades of partnership with the Concordia College community. Over the years, students, faculty and staff have become our friends and neighbors. They shall be remembered forever with great fondness. As a community, we now step forward confidently and welcome Iona College to our village. We look forward to building new and lasting relationships resulting in a bright future for all.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer added, “Preserving access to higher education in Westchester County is absolutely essential not only for our students and families, but for our economy. While it is bittersweet to see the 140-year legacy of Concordia College coming to a close, Iona’s shared commitment to faith, opportunity and the transformative power of education will be a benefit to both Westchester County and New York State. As higher education across the nation is under strain, Westchester County is fortunate to be home to such leading institutions.”

The deal was also applauded by Business Council of Westchester President and CEO Marsha Gordon and Westchester County Association President Michael Romita.

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