Thank you Deb Takes, Dr. Iadarola, and Father Michael for the warm welcome and generous introduction.
I also want to acknowledge the tireless work of the members of the search committee, and especially wish to thank Terry Cavanaugh for her expert leadership, and the Board of Trustees for their unanimous support of my appointment, which holds special meaning to me.
Cabrini College has captivated and captured my heart, and I feel blessed to stand before you today as your next president. The 50‑year legacy leading to this day was a result of your talents and gifts and of those preceding you.
I humbly come to Cabrini College, offering my talents, prepared to join with you, not to change you but to join with you, as we continue the legacy of advancing Cabrini to new heights of excellence.
In your strategic plan, you set forth two statements important to my work as your next president.
I view each of those aspirational statements as supporting the other—and, in tandem, as achievable. Through the leadership of President Iadarola and her predecessors, and the incredible faculty, staff, trustees, and friends who have supported them, the ground work has been laid for this vision to become a reality because of Cabrini’s unique educational experience—and “education of the heart.”
I envision Cabrini College as a one-of-a-kind jewel in the crown of Catholic higher education. You already have what I have been searching for in a Catholic college. You provide, in a unique way, the richness of both the Catholic intellectual and social traditions.
You liberally educate while providing an array of experiences (both inside and outside of the classroom) for that intellectual experience to be understood, experienced and synthesized in the broader context of service to and solidarity with others.
This commitment to community, to society, and to the common good is at the heart of Cabrini’s mission, and I can assure you it is also what drives the heart of your next president!
I share in your belief that a Cabrinian education is a transformational learning experience. I share in your belief that your unique core curriculum, with its emphasis on the common good, deeply affects students’ intellectual and moral development.
I share in your belief of the importance in having a beautiful campus and vibrant campus life with an abundance of cultural, athletic, recreational, spiritual, and social activities that compliment and bolster the academic experience. I share in your commitment to “service beyond one’s self” and one’s moral obligation to reach out and meet the needs of others and society.
But most of all, I share in your belief that each of us is called—in the image and likeness of the God who made us, and loves us—to do something extraordinary!
My gratitude to many runs deep, but especially to Toni, who has so graciously offered her wisdom, experience, and commitment to assisting in the development of a transitional plan. I will need the assistance of many in the coming weeks and months, and in my own orientation to Cabrini College.
Today’s beautiful visit will be brief, but I will return later this month and in the upcoming spring months, as well. I want to meet with as many students, faculty, and staff as possible before your summer break.
It is an extraordinary honor to be named president-designate of Cabrini College. It is an honor that I will never take for granted. Be assured that I will work hard to merit the confidence you have placed in me—on my first day and every day thereafter—and to steward well this precious jewel that is Cabrini College.
I look forward to working with all associated with this great enterprise in Catholic higher education: with the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; past presidents; trustees, alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students at Cabrini, a values-driven college with a firm grasp of its mission to provide the “education of the heart” envisioned by Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini more than a century ago.
And to end, I share a quote from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which was one of Mother Cabrini’s favorites: “I can do and bear all things through the one who strengthens and sustains me” (4:13).