Today, October 7, marks the 100th day of my presidency here at Albertus Magnus College. It’s hard to believe it’s been one hundred days since June 30; in some ways, it’s been a blur. But what has become crystal clear and is easy to share is the depth of my passion and excitement that has developed for Albertus. As each of the first one hundred days has passed, my appreciation for all that is special about this wonderful college has grown. When I started as president, I launched a new Albertus President Twitter account (@AlbertusPres). I did so because I acknowledge that social media offers an important opportunity to share the Albertus Magnus College story. But, I’ve learned quickly the limitations of 140 characters, so today I write with a bit more detail. And moving forward, while I’ll continue to Tweet, from time to time I’ll use this blog to share Albertus Magnus College stories. There is so much for which the Albertus family should be proud.
The commitment of the Albertus Magnus College community to mission is palpable. Indeed, every college or university has a mission. But at Albertus, the Catholic, Dominican mission and tradition is alive and well, thriving under the care of the faculty and staff who educate today’s Albertus students, preparing them for impactful lives after they finish their programs, just as so many have done before for nearly one hundred years. I sensed a strong commitment to mission as I began my tenure; I’ve now experienced firsthand how mission inspires each of us in the Albertus community to do all we can for the students. Albertus Magnus College was founded to serve students. We should take great pride in celebrating our commitment to continuing to do so. And one hundred days in, I’ve learned:
- The faculty…I’m in awe of their commitment to the College, its mission, and its students, as well as their talent, teaching, scholarship, and service. They inspire me.
- The staff…they work tirelessly on behalf of the College and its students, advancing mission in a way that touches lives each day. They motivate me.
- The Dominican Sisters…so passionate for Albertus and the values on which it stands. They are a living testament to our Catholic, Dominican identity and traditions, and they are among the strongest advocates for the College’s bright future. I feel their hope.
- The Trustees…they are committed to Albertus and its mission. They support, through their wisdom, guidance, and philanthropy, the Albertus community of educators and students. They hold within their hearts the best interests of the College. I’m grateful to them.
- The Greater New Haven community…I believe I’ve had more than 50 meetings with various corporate, civic, education, and religious leaders, and I have yet to meet an individual who shares anything other than praise and respect for Albertus Magnus College. I sense in them an openness and excitement around a more proud and bold Albertus in the future, an Albertus that engages even more deeply and meaningfully in the community. I look forward to working with them.
- Of course, the Albertus alumni… Their passion for and pride in their alma mater has filled me with hope and inspiration. They share their individual and collective dreams for the future. I’ve loved hearing their stories. Some have offered reflections from when the College was women only. Others have told me of how Albertus enabled them, as working women and men, to come back and finish a college degree. Each individual story is woven into the powerful tapestry of Albertus Magnus College. I feel their impact.
- And impact leads me to the members of the Albertus family for whom I see impact every day…The students. Albertus Magnus College is blessed to enroll a diverse student body. Yes, traditional measures of diversity define our students… racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, religious, etc. But among our Albertus students are traditional 18-22 year olds, embarking upon their college journeys fresh out of high school, as well as working adults, some pursuing undergraduate degrees, others master’s degrees. In this mix of young and older, I see in them the promise of the future; they’ve been called to the values- and liberal arts-based education that has defined Albertus Magnus for 92 years. The 18-22 year olds are ready for transformation, ready to grow in their education, their self-confidence, their character development, their career vocations and preparations. The working adults are ready to advance in life and in work, to further their career success for themselves and for their families.
One hundred days in, I am convinced there never has been a more compelling moment in time, yearning for an Albertus Magnus education, an education that is Catholic, Dominican, values-based, liberal-arts based, and practical in its application. Today’s world and its myriad local, regional, national, and global challenges, calls for students, young and older, to benefit from an Albertus Magnus College education. To take their place in society, bringing forward their knowledge and skills, their competence and conscience to be change agents. To make a difference. To have positive impact.
One hundred days in, and clearly my work is only beginning. There remains so much for me to learn, so many people for me to meet. But my inspiration and passion have been launched. I will be fearless in advocating for this College and its community members. As a shared community, as a family, we will move forward as Fearless Falcons to realize a bright, bold future and the promise it holds for a vibrant, thriving Albertus Magnus College.