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January 21, 2005

The New Year has begun and the campus is once again humming with activities after a two-week break for the Christmas holidays.  I hope that everyone enjoyed some extra time with loved ones.
 
I met with the President’s Council for a daylong executive retreat on Jan. 5 to discuss the status of our university planning and goal-setting for the immediate- and long- term future.  Planning is always a “work in progress” and it almost seems like a full-time job just being attentive to it.  I am trying to fine-tune our administrative focus to get a handle on some of our most important university issues.  As you well know, there is never a lack of significant concerns.
 

 
A CUA student volunteers at the tsunami relief fund table as a donation comes in.
“CUAids: Tsunami Relief” has already resulted in several thousand dollars collected at CUA for the victims of the disaster in south Asia.  The love and concern expressed by many in the CUA community has been overwhelming.
 
Adele Chwalek, longtime director of CUA Libraries, has retired and many members of the university community gathered in McMahon Hall foyer on Tuesday, Jan. 11, to bid her a fond farewell.  Provost John Convey shared some very touching memories and presented Adele with a gift.  Speaking for the entire university community, I expressed our gratitude to Adele for many years of incredibly generous service, as I presented her with a gift from the university.  In her own gentle way, Adele spoke a final word, indicating that her gift to CUA was the wonderful staff she has been able to assemble over the years.  Amen to that!  Deborah Ozga will serve as interim director until a search for a permanent replacement is completed.  We thank you, Deborah, for your generosity in fulfilling such an important task.
 
In January we also said good-bye to Ann Aubin, my administrative assistant. Ann worked in several important positions at Catholic University for more than 24 years, including being a nurse in the health center! Throughout my tenure here at Catholic University, Ann served in the Office of the President. She was honored for her great contributions to our university in 2000, when the Alumni Association presented her with the Frank Kuntz, ‘07, award for meritorious service to the university by a staff member. Ann wanted to leave without any fanfare on Jan. 14, so we respected her wishes.
 
In addition to Ann, another staff member in my office will be retiring in March. I will be losing the services of Joan Moore who has been with the university for nearly 10 years. With the loss of these two experienced and valued individuals who have so much institutional knowledge, it may be a challenging time of transition for my office.
 
Dr. Julie Englund, treasurer and vice president for finance/administration, Michelene Sheehy, associate treasurer, and I traveled to Wall Street on Jan. 13 to firm up some investment policies and review our portfolio with the CUA Investment Committee. Given the size of the university and in comparison to other universities of similar size, our investment portfolio is strong.
 
The annual Pro-Life March on Washington will occur on Jan. 24, with CUA hosting hundreds of participating students from all over the country the night before.  The Office of the Provost is coordinating with the Office of Campus Ministry regarding the absentee policy for CUA students participating in the daylong march.
 
On Jan. 27, I will be in Buffalo, N.Y., addressing the Catholic Lawyers Guild at noon. Later that day I am addressing an audience of about 1,000 on the topic of Catholic education at the “Celebrate Catholic Schools” gala dinner.
 
 
The next day will find me many hundreds of miles south of Buffalo. The annual American Cardinals Dinner, the university’s fund-raiser to support CUA financial aid, will take place in Miami, Fla., on Jan. 28. In Miami, Bob Sullivan, vice president for university development, and I will begin several days of fund-raising visits. In the midst of our travels I will speak as part of a panel sponsored by the Catholic organization Legatus on the canonical aspects of Catholic higher education.  We will return home the weekend of Feb. 5, before the season of Lent begins (as hard as it is to believe that it is almost here!).
 
In closing, I simply want to wish everyone the very best of everything for the spring semester.  Before you know it, summer will be here!  God bless!

 

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