The past couple of weeks have seen the High Holidays or Holy Days come and go for our Jewish colleagues and students. These included Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I wish you all Shanah Tovah.
Tuesday evening was our Second Annual Henri Nouwen Lecture on Contemporary Spirituality, and it was given by our own Michael Higgins. Before a crowd of faculty, staff, students and members of the community, he shared tales from the last 10 years of Nouwen’s life when he became involved with Jean Vanier and the first L’Arche home for the handicapped in Trosly-Breuil, France. Dr. Higgins recently published a book called Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen. It is available from the University bookstore.
On Wednesday, members of the community gathered in the Chapel for the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit. This Mass is traditionally celebrated at Catholic colleges and universities to mark the beginning of the academic year. The tradition goes back to 16th-century Europe and provides us an opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance throughout the year.
Congratulations to Biology professors Jennifer Mattei and Mark Beekey and adjunct instructor Adam Rudman. They recently received two grants to support their Project Limulus conservation program. The program seeks to study and preserve Limulus polyphemus – the American horseshoe crab. The trio received a $24,500 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. This is the second consecutive year that the Disney Fund has recognized this project. They also received $24,730 from the Long Island Sound Future’s Fund managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – a grant they also received last year. These grants will allow them to hire additional undergraduates to conduct research and educational outreach programming this coming summer.
SHU had the opportunity to host the newly elected Bridgeport Board of Education this week as Education Professor Jacqueline Kelleher, who is also president of the Bridgeport Board, held a seven-hour planning session with her board members at our Cambridge location. The mini-retreat was part informational and part crash course on how to function as a board. The group intends to convene again soon to set goals. It was our pleasure to host our neighbors as they begin their important work together.
Patricia Walker, dean of the College of Health Professions, will be honored at a luncheon tomorrow by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. She will be presented with the organization’s Distinguished Educator Award. Be sure to join me in congratulating Pat on this well-deserved and auspicious honor.
The Fairfield County Sports Commission is bestowing its Chelsea Cohen Award on SHU Head Football Coach Paul Gorham. The award recognizes the person in the sports community who has shown inspirational strength in battling life-altering obstacles. Paul will be honored at the Commission’s Eighth Annual Sports Night awards dinner on October 15 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. Those of us who have been following Paul’s journey know that this honor is well deserved.
Have you checked out my former ESTEEM mentee Bill Haug’s video blog? I especially enjoy the outtakes. I thought about putting some outtakes in this blog, but “Nowen – oops—Nouwen” just doesn’t have the same impact.
This weekend is Homecoming weekend and a variety of exciting events have been planned. The highlight will be the football team’s home opener against Central Connecticut State University with the Alumni Tent Event taking place in the Pitt Center picnic area. The Pioneers are still looking for their first victory of the season, and it will be exciting to see them get it at home. Be sure to join the marching band at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit 45 minutes before kickoff for their home-game tradition of a musical blessing and a march up the hill. I hope you will be in the stands cheering the team on, but if you can’t make it, the game will be broadcast on the Fox College Sports channel. TV viewers might even catch an interview with yours truly during the halftime show.Homecoming weekend kicked off earlier today with the Alumni Awards reception and will continue this evening with a kickoff in Red’s Pub. Other activities include Gary Rose’s Alumni College Lecture tomorrow morning, a reunion for former and current members of the yearbook, newspaper and La Hispanidad and a tour and reception at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit following Mass on Sunday. There will be plenty to do for alumni and current students alike, so have a great time in between the raindrops! Spread the Red!