From the President
The Haitian earthquake has been very much in our minds. We appealed to faculty, staff and students and are matching their generous gifts, to be divided among Catholic Relief Services and several smaller charities where we have personal connections with St. Catherine people. I know our alumnae/i are responding generously as well.
What is most important, though, is what will happen in Haiti after the media blitz quiets down and life in the United States returns to normal. I’ve been thinking a lot about that, not only because my son is Haitian, but because it pulls me into deep reflection about the "transformational education" and "social responsibility" of which we speak in the St. Catherine mission statement.
Certainly not every graduate will work in a developing country; nor will everyone have the means to make large charitable contributions to aid in their development. If our mission means anything, however, our graduates must understand and act upon the core values that undergird education at St. Catherine University. I know they do and they will.
Our graduates — in myriad ways and places — do just that. They lead and influence in their places of employment, in their churches and communities, in their volunteer work and, most important, within their families. Some are engaged in direct public service; others actually work in developing countries; others lead as scientists, corporate and not-for-profit leaders, teachers and healthcare professionals. As volunteers, they serve on boards, commissions, committees and councils. They are raising or have raised the generation on which we will depend to save our planet.
Whether it is an undergraduate nurse or teacher; a master’s graduate in library science, social work or physical therapy; or an "academic beginner" in one of our associate degree programs, every St. Catherine student knows the profound expectations of their professors, administrators and trustees. Every student knows something of what the Sisters of St. Joseph imagined when they built this institution. On difficult days, when snow and a million other things pile high, that realization brings deep satisfaction and a burst of new energy.
This issue of SCAN offers a glimpse of some exciting initiatives included in our 2020 Vision: Strategic Plan, approved by the Board of Trustees last October: our groundbreaking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative viewed through the eyes of EcoSTARS, which expanded this year into two urban schools; a beautiful story on "Breaking the Veils," a critically acclaimed art exhibit showcasing the work of Muslim women; a thoughtful piece on women and philanthropy, with concrete examples of how our donors are changing lives and enhancing opportunities for St. Catherine students. And, oh, be sure not to miss the historical and contemporary portrait of Whitby/College Hall, another sign that St. Catherine University is both connected to a splendid heritage and solidly focused on its future.
Good thing — the world needs competent, creative and committed people more than ever!
Thanks for all your help in enabling St. Catherine University to
become its best self. May bad weather melt into the
most lovely of springs, and may this Lent be a blessed season for
you. You are always in my prayers. E-mail me at
email@example.com or stop by
if you are in town. I’d love to
see you and chat.
Andrea J. Lee, IHM