On Monday and Tuesday this week, we welcomed nearly 200 guests from around the country and Canada to our Vatican II 50th Anniversary Celebration Conference. The purpose of the conference was to reflect on the seven speeches given by the Cardinals at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. Our dynamic and forward-thinking speakers were able to offer ideas about how those speeches can address the issues of the 21st century. They left their listeners with a great deal to think about. We will continue the discussion in the fall when we host a panel of three additional authorities on the Second Vatican Council. Not surprisingly, we received positive feedback not only about the conference, but also about our beautiful campus and our friendly and helpful faculty, staff and students. Congratulations to Father Tony Ciorra and the entire conference committee on their hard work and attention to detail. It was a job very well done.
On Monday night, my wife and I attended “Life’s a Beach,” the annual Pops concert by SHU L.O.V.E. Can I say I thought they were every bit as good as the Midtown Men? I am looking forward with great anticipation to “A Broadway Celebration” by the University Choirs Saturday evening and the University Concert Band’s selection of songs from video games Sunday afternoon as well as the SHU F.O.R.C.E. Dance Ensemble’s performance Saturday afternoon. I encourage you to attend these concerts over the weekend—our talented student performers always put on a great show.
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to join approximately 50 faculty and staff members to recognize 75 administrative assistants at a lunch put on by the Human Resources team in honor of Administrative Professionals Day. Guest speaker Father Jerry Ryle offered some suggestions about the benefits of relaxation and meditation. Anyone who doesn’t think our administrative assistants run this place hasn’t seen them in action!
Congratulations to all the finalists for the Campus Life Leadership Awards and especially to our four winners: Dr. James McCabe, winner of the Dr. Marian Calabrese Outstanding Faculty Member Award; Dr. Mary Jo Mason, winner of the Outstanding Administrator Award; Lisa Gallagher, winner of the Outstanding Staff MemberAward; and Amanda Rowe, winner of the Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award. The final selections were made by members of Student Government. I thank you all for being there for our students.
As the semester draws to a close, there are wonderful opportunities to see the work our students have been doing over the past few months. The presentations by the seniors in the Thomas More Honors Program have been circulated to everyone via email, and they are most impressive. Thursday evening was Senior Portfolio Night, which provided an opportunity to see the outstanding work of our student graphic designers and artists. And, Friday afternoon was the Annual Undergraduate Poster and Showcase Session. A total of 51 student projects were on display on topics that ranged from the characteristics of youthful offenders to the perils of artificial tanning. There was even a robot! Congratulations to the Poster Showcase winners and to all the students who presented at these events for their hard work and creativity.
Earlier today, students, staff and faculty gathered in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit for the Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Service. Although the Holocaust took place only 60 years ago, it can seem like ancient history to younger generations. It is important that the atrocities of the past are not forgotten.
A high five to the women’s lacrosse team for securing the top seed in the Northeast Conference Championships! That allows the women to host this year’s tournament, which takes place today and Sunday. The women will be enjoying that home field advantage as they look to capture their fourth title in five years. Go Pioneers!
Finally, I want to encourage members of the faculty and staff to join me Monday night as we continue our tradition of serving a late night breakfast in the Mahogany Room to students who are studying for finals. It’s a great opportunity to interact with students in a relaxed setting on the last day of classes.
Enjoy the weekend!