Sep 25, 2012

The ‘Colleges That Change Lives’ Adds Four New Members

University of Puget Sound

It’s official!  The Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) nonprofit membership organization is expanding to include four new colleges.

Following the release of the newest edition of the book, Colleges That Change Lives, the 40 charter CTCL members voted to extend membership invitations to Hillsdale College (MI), St. Mary’s College of California, University of Puget Sound (WA), and Willamette University (OR).

“We are delighted that Puget Sound is being recognized for the distinctive educational and personal growth our students experience here,” said Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas.

Colleges That Change Lives was originally written by former New York Times education editor Loren Pope and was first published in 1996.  Before his death in 2008 at the age of 98, Pope oversaw two revisions of the book.

For the latest edition, writer Hilary Masell Oswald conducted all-new college tours, including extensive interviews of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and built on Pope’s original work to create an entirely updated and revised guide.

And for the first time since 1996, the roster of colleges included in the book has been adjusted slightly.

“We are delighted to welcome Hillsdale, St. Mary’s, Puget Sound and Willamette into the CTCL ‘family,’” said Martha (Marty) O’Connell, executive director of the nonprofit Colleges That Change Lives.  “Hilary Oswald certainly was able to channel Loren’ Pope’s philosophy of identifying life changing liberal arts colleges in choosing these four outstanding institutions.”              

This is also the first time since the founding of the organization in 2006 that additional colleges have been invited to join.  The book and the nonprofit are separate entities, so the addition of the four colleges brings the CTCL membership to 44.

“It is great to expand our geographic membership,” added O’Connell.  “Perhaps we will no longer face the questions about so few colleges in the west!”

As an organization, CTCL is dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process.  

Members travel together and meet with students and families during the school year through a series of presentations and college fairs.

“As we travel throughout the country and visit with families looking for a college, we hear that they want not only an institution that will prepare their student for professional opportunities but will provide a truly transformational education, said John Sullivan, dean of admission and financial aid at Eckerd College.  

“We look forward to continuing our work with like-minded schools included in the book, touring together to meet with parents and students and telling them about the ways Eckerd College changes lives.”

For more about the nonprofit group Colleges That Change Lives visit:, and for more  about the Penguin book Colleges That Change Lives visit:,,9780143122302,00.html?Colleges_That_Change_Lives_Loren_Pope.

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