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Wagner College Theatre #1 on Princeton Review’s ‘Best Colleges’ list

2014 (2015) Best 379 Colleges cover (web)The Wagner College Theatre program was ranked #1 in the nation, and the Wagnerian student newspaper was ranked among the country’s top 20 collegiate news publications, in this year’s Princeton Review “Best 379 Colleges” guide. The annual guide was released on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

The Wagner College Theatre has been ranked among the top 5 collegiate theater programs in the United States by the Princeton Review for the last decade, but this is the first time since 2005 that the WCT has claimed the #1 position. See the complete list here.

“The Wagner College Theatre Department — faculty, staff, students, alumni and audiences — is honored by our Number One ranking in the Princeton Review,” said Felicia Ruff, chair of the Theatre Department.

The department, created in 1968, has a long list of distinguished alumni, from Tony Award winner Randy Graff ’76 to “Jersey Boys” film star Renee Marino ’04.

“Wagner College’s tradition of doing theater, particularly musical theater, clearly remains strong,” Ruff said. “We take pride in our work on stage and in the classroom, but we are even prouder of our community, which is united by our belief in the importance of live performance. Our Number One ranking is a well-deserved endorsement of our excellent faculty and the values they teach, but it is also evidence of the power of storytelling to impact our culture, especially our campus culture.”

This was the first time that the Wagnerian, Wagner College’s student newspaper, appeared on the Princeton Review’s list of the top 20 college newspapers in the country. Other schools appearing on this year’s list included Yale, Syracuse, Cornell, UCLA, Penn State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Howard and Dartmouth. See the complete list here.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for the student editors and reporters who work 24/7 at the Wagnerian to keep the campus informed,” said Wagner journalism professor Claire Regan, the paper’s faculty adviser. “The staff handled several challenging stories in the last year like professional journalists. The Wagnerian is a strong reflection of our journalism program.”

First published in 1934, the Wagnerian is marking its 80th anniversary this fall.

Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and three colleges outside the U.S.A. are profiled in the “Best 379 Colleges” book, which is the Princeton Review’s flagship college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, based on the Princeton Review’s surveys of students attending the colleges.

The various top 20 lists included in the “Best 379 Colleges” book — such as the Best College Theater of Best College Newspaper lists — are compiled from student surveys about many aspects of campus life, coursework and administration at their own institutions.

“Schools that make it onto any of our 62 top 20 lists are those at which the surveyed students (as a group) indicated a very high consensus of opinion about that topic,” Princeton Review editors explained.

In its overall profile on Wagner College, this year’s Princeton Review “Best 379 Colleges” guide quotes extensively from students surveyed for the book. Wagner students describe the college as a “tight-knit and fun, yet academically challenging” liberal arts school. The school is “in the perfect location with a surplus of unique resources” and is composed of “an excellent and vibrant community that supports its students every step of the way.” The “commitment of the faculty and staff have for the student body is outstanding.” Students universally agree that Wagner “lets you experience all different types of subjects by following the concept: learning by doing.”

For more online about the Princeton Review’s surveys and how they are interpreted, visit the publication’s website.



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