As I write this, I have the great pleasure to be in Luxembourg for Sacred Heart University’s 19th commencement exercises, which will take place tomorrow. This year, students representing nine countries will receive their MBA degrees and Graduate Professional Certificates. It is my honor to present these degrees for the first time as President of the University.
I am also looking forward to hearing Dr. Norbert Becker’s commencement address on the topic of uncertainties. Dr. Becker is interim chairman of Sacred Heart University’s Board of Regents. He will also honor the memory of Dr. Edmond Israel, former Chairman of the Board.
Although I had intended to take a bit more time off from blogging, I am motivated to return to the keyboard because Sacred Heart recently took home four trophies from the Annual Northeast Conference Spring Meeting. Sacred Heart won the Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup for the fourth year in a row. In addition, the University won the Joan Martin Women’s Commissioner’s Cup for the women’s division for the fifth straight year and the Commissioner Cup for the men’s division for the second time in three years. Hats off Athletic Director Don Cook, the coaches and the student-athletes for this amazing clean sweep!
Perhaps even more impressive, however, was receiving the inaugural NEC Building Communities Award. The award was conceived by the NEC SAAC and is designed to recognize the institution in the conference that demonstrates the highest dedication to making an impact in the community through the efforts of its student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
I had the honor of receiving the award on behalf of the University. I have always been proud of our student-athletes and their coaches for the way they represent the school on the playing field. Our athletes work hard, put out their best effort every time they play and demonstrate the highest standards of sportsmanship. Now I am equally proud of the 6,212 hours of service they gave this year to our local communities.
The majority of those hours were donated through the “Dunbar School Initiative.” The Dunbar School is a K-8 school located on the east side of Bridgeport. The Sacred Heart SAAC takes part in the M.O.T.I.V.A.T.E. project at Dunbar, which stands for Meaningful Opportunities To Inspire Vision and Achieving Total Excellence. The mission is to provide opportunities to Dunbar students through mentoring that will enhance their sense of pride, responsibility and worth. Each morning during the school year, 10 to 15 student athletes arrived at Dunbar to assist in the classrooms.
University SAAC members also participated in the MS walk, put together a student-athlete auction that raised more than $4,000 for the Lisa Moray scholarship and, over two years, raised more than $10,000 for the “Making Strides” breast cancer walk on behalf of SHU’s own survivor and women’s co-head softball coach, Elizabeth Luckie. This fall, they plan to collaborate with Student Government to kick off “The Heart Attack.” Stay tuned to find out how that initiative will raise everyone’s Pioneer spirit.
At Sacred Heart, our mission is not only to inspire students to excel academically and athletically, but also to make their mark as thoughtful, caring and spiritual individuals who strive to make the world a better place for all who share it. That’s why winning the first-ever NEC Building Communities Award is especially dear to me. Knowing our students as I do, I suspect it won’t the last time they are honored in this way. Congratulations to everyone involved!