St. Kate's hosts 25th annual national Catholic higher education conference


Faculty from nearly 60 ACCU Catholic colleges and universities gathered on campus last weekend. Photo by Kelly Miner '15.

Last weekend St. Kate's hosted Collegium, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities' (ACCU) Colloquy on Faith and the Intellectual Life, for its 25th anniversary colloquy, "Pause at 25." From June 21–24, the University's St. Paul campus bustled with more than 170 participants, mostly faculty, who represented nearly sixty Catholic colleges and universities from around the country.

Collegium, founded in 1992, brings together the voices of faculty and staff from 65 Catholic colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. As the conference name suggests, the annual Collegium colloquy facilitates a sharing of ideas on the intersection of Catholic institutional missions and the liberal arts. On this its 25th anniversary, Collegium presented participants with a visionary challenge: "If Collegium were being founded from scratch today, what would we want it to do?"

St. Kate's President Becky Roloff welcomed participants on the first evening of the conference.

"Thank you for your dedication to this important work," said Roloff to Collegium in her remarks opening the conference. "We are thrilled to host so many bright and passionate academic professionals to reflect on our collective Catholic identity, assess the challenges and opportunities we face today, and discover innovative ways to ensure that identity remains relevant in our curriculum and campus life for another century to come."

St. Kate's was represented at the conference by a group of University faculty and staff, among them art history professor and endowed mission chair in the liberal arts Amy Hamlin.

"What I appreciate about Collegium is that it provides a dual lens — in the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic social teaching — through which to re-imagine liberal arts education," said Hamlin. "We can't keep having the same tired conversations about the liberal arts. We need to change the conversation, and Collegium helped move that discussion onto more productive terrain."

On Friday, the penultimate day of the conference, participants attended a liturgy in Our Lady of Victory Chapel which celebrated Collegium's quarter-century anniversary.

"Just knowing that Collegium is celebrating its 25th anniversary, twenty-five years of this body of knowledge and support base, is so significant," said Ann Uhar, nursing faculty from Marian University in Indiana. "Asking questions, sharing what we know, recognizing that we are all in the same struggle, we can motivate one another. It's given me an infusion of energy."

Collegium's 2018 Colloquy will be held in mid-June of next year at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. For more information, visit the official Collegium website.

By Michelle Mullowney '17