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Rays of Hope

SHU Volunteers Help Camp Sunshine Shine a Little Brighter

Several Siena Heights students and staff members gave up part of their summer vacation to give others a needed break from the concerns of a life-threatening illness.

A dozen or so from Siena Heights traveled by minivan to Casco, Maine, in July to work at Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit operation that provides a retreat for children who are battling life-threatening illnesses and their families.

SHU Dean for Students Michael Orlando (photos below) learned about Camp Sunshine three years ago and involved Siena Heights through the Siena Serves volunteer program on campus. Orlando, his wife, Becky, and SHU Director of Counseling Sandy Morley joined nine SHU students from varying backgrounds on the weeklong experience.

“(Camp Sunshine) lets the families be treated as royalty and loves them as much as possible,” Orlando said. “It’s a way for everyone to come together with a sense of shared understanding.”

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From the President:

Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, President
Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, President

Success Comes in Many Forms

What’s your definition of success? In higher education, it may depend on the person whom you ask.

If you’re asking those in government, then it may be about student outcomes and the educational value that a college or university provides its students. I’m happy to report that over the summer Siena Heights was listed in several surveys that cited SHU as being a good return-on-investment. I certainly count this as a success story and reaffirms what we are doing as an institution. You can read more details about these honors in this issue.

For our students, I’m sure the answers will be all over the board. Many gauge success on what kind of grades they receive in the classroom. Others on the success of their athletic or extracurricular endeavors. Of course, we hope all of our students measure success when they are holding their diplomas in their hands!

For our faculty, staff and administration, their success is directly tied to our students’ success. It is our mission to see our students become more competent, purposeful and ethical during their time at Siena Heights. We want our students to not only become successful in their future jobs and careers—but also in their lives. Our Catholic, Dominican tradition mandates that we prepare our students to be agents of change in the world. We want them to help transform the world for good. And that’s a success story by anyone’s definition.

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Walk right in. Sit right down!

Campus Benches Commemorate Alumni, Friends

By Jennifer Hamlin Church

Outside the main entrance to the McLaughlin University Center, Alice Robie Resnick ’61 on one side waves to her faculty mentor, Sr. Ann Joachim, OP, on the other. At the opposite entrance, the 2012-13 Alumni Board sits for a spell.

And in Trinity Garden, Marjorie (Mickey) Gable Reagan ’44 tosses her red curls and laughs, inviting classmates to stop for a visit as they pass by.

OK, so those people are not here, not in body anyway; but they—and others—are back at Siena in spirit, engaged in today’s University thanks to the new commemorative benches all around campus. Ten benches, each with its own plaque, invite students, faculty and visitors to rest for a moment and—perhaps—remember or imagine the people named there.

When the bench project reached mailboxes a year ago, Jim Reagan, Mickey Reagan’s eldest son, was one of the first responders. His mother had died recently. He and his four brothers—Bill, Dan, Chris and Shawn—thought a bench on campus would be “a wonderful tribute to our mother who had great memories of her days at Siena Heights.” The daughter of a St. Joseph Academy alumna, Mickey Gable came from Lorain, OH, to enroll in Siena’s two-year secretarial program. Pictures from 1943 and ’44 show her smiling—always—with friends: laughing at the top of a flagpole pyramid in front of Sacred Heart Hall, perched on the railing overlooking Trinity Garden, posed in front of the archangel sculpture on a spring day as the snow melts. Mickey’s bench now sits under the Trinity Garden gingko tree, just outside Benincasa, a welcome resting spot for students between classes.

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