The Catholic University of America

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From the President's Desk

  Homecoming and Reunions Weekend
  President Garvey greets alumni during Homecoming and Reunions Weekend.
 

In last month’s column I previewed Family Weekend, which we hosted on October 7-9. It was a great success. More than 1,100 people signed up to come, including over 300 students. Numerous offices and individuals on campus contributed to the success of the event. Many thanks to everyone who helped out.

On October 21-23 we welcomed another part of our Catholic University family — our alumni — for Homecoming and Reunions Weekend. It too lived up to our hopes. Approximately 1,300 people attended, more than 800 at our pregame tent party. Football has always been a central element of Homecoming. This year our team delivered, pulling off a victory in the last 30 seconds against Emory & Henry. Congratulations to the Cardinals for a remarkable win. (And speaking of our athletic teams, how about our women’s field hockey team knocking off the number-one team in the country, and our men’s soccer team breaking into the top 25 nationwide?)

I also had the opportunity to meet with the Alumni Association Board of Governors during Homecoming and Reunions Weekend. I was able to share with them the progress we are making with our strategic and master plans.

So many things happen on campus in a given month during the academic year that it would take more space than I have to list all of them. But I would like to mention a few October events in addition to the two I have already described. On October 4, we hosted a press conference in Father O’Connell Hall, during which U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced that $159 million in grant money would be given to 36 partnerships between private and public sector entities. Catholic University and its partners will receive $4,175,500 to train health care workers in our health information technology programs. Congratulations to Dean Sara Thompson and her staff in the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies for spearheading this effort.

 
Monsignor Stephen J. Rossetti speaks about his book Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests
 
 

Two significant October events involved Theological College, our national diocesan seminary. The first was the all-day Symposium on the Priesthood that occurred on October 5. Co-sponsored by Theological College, the School of Theology and Religious Studies (STRS), the Associated Sulpicians of the United States, and Saint Luke Institute, the symposium explored the thesis of a new book by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti entitled Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests. Monsignor Rossetti, who is clinical associate professor of pastoral studies and associate dean for seminary and ministerial programs in STRS, shared the findings in his book with the 320 priests in attendance.

A week later we celebrated the installation of a new rector, Rev. Philip J. Brown, S.S. Father Brown has been with us since 2006, teaching in the School of Canon Law and serving as an extern spiritual director to the seminarians. We are delighted to welcome him to his new and important role.

This year the School of Architecture and Planning is celebrating its 100th anniversary. It used the occasion to host an October 6-8 interdisciplinary symposium entitled Transcending Architecture: Aesthetics & Ethics of the Numinous. The symposium attracted a roster of distinguished speakers and approximately 220 participants.

Members of our Benjamin T. Rome School of Music have headed to Carnegie Hall again this year as part of the La Gesse Foundation’s annual concert series. As this column is published, they are in the midst of three days of concerts featuring their faculty and students. I will join them for the last of their performances and a reception. Carnegie Hall is an iconic venue for music performance. It’s a wonderful honor and an exciting opportunity for our students and faculty to perform there.

On November 3 the University will host Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. His lecture, “Fundamental Aspects of Ecumenism and Future Perspectives,” will begin at 5 p.m. in Aquinas Hall. Afterward I will host a dinner for him with some of our academic leaders.

 
  Last year's Service Awards Dinner
 

On November 15 we will have our 2011 Annual Service Awards Dinner to thank those who have reached the 10- or 20-year mark in their service to Catholic University. On that night we will celebrate with the 57 members of our staff and faculty who have completed a decade of service at Catholic University, and the 26 who have served for two decades. We extend our wholehearted appreciation to these men and women for their invaluable contributions. The long-term commitment by these individuals and other employees to the University is the guarantor of the institution’s stability and steady growth.

On November 22 the Philadelphia Leadership Network, a group of our alumni donors and their guests, will gather at The Union League Club. I will give them an update on our current and future projects at Catholic University. The Philadelphia network has generously supported our efforts to improve the University in the past, and we are grateful for their support, and the support of our many alumni donors.

A final word about the month of November. It’s a month we dedicate to remembrance and thanks. We begin with the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. It might be a good occasion this year to pray for those around the world who suffer for their faith. On Veterans Day we should remember the men and women who serve and have served our nation in uniform.

The Thanksgiving holidays remind us in a special way to be grateful for the many opportunities we have together at Catholic University. Let us be grateful for our friends, classmates, professors, colleagues, and all those who keep our University running. Let’s use your gratitude as an opportunity to give back, for, as St. Francis says, “. . . it is in giving that we receive.”