From the President:
The (Adrian) Dominican Tradition is
Alive and Well
It’s been a year to remember at Siena Heights University.
Of course, all eight or so years I have been at Siena Heights have turned out to be memorable in their own way. But this year, there was a special emphasis on strengthening the Dominican tradition on campus.
Last spring, faculty member Sister Pat Walter, OP, delivered an end-of-the-year address to our faculty and staff on our Catholic identity. Her presentation sparked a newfound interest in just what that “identity” was on our campus. In fact, many of our faculty and staff—some of whom are not even Catholic—wanted to know more about this “Catholic, Dominican tradition.”
This spring, we had a series of luncheon discussions exploring aspects of our Catholic identity. These occurred not only on the Adrian campus, but at some of our other campuses around Michigan.
Integrating the Dominican tradition in a more visible way is also happening with many our academic programs, especially in the liberal arts. And our newly designed Leadership program in the Graduate College will have the Dominican tradition as a focus.
There also is a spiritual movement happening with some of our students on campus. Last fall, a Dominican Young Adults chapter was officially formed at Siena Heights. This group was initiated by some of our students and has sparked a “revival” of sorts in our Campus Ministry Program.
On April 29, we had another significant moment on campus when our new altar was dedicated during a special ceremony in St. Dominic Chapel on the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena. The bishop came down to help us celebrate this rare occasion. The event was another opportunity for the Siena community to experience that Catholic, Dominican tradition in action. It was a wonderful celebration!
Some day (hopefully not anytime soon), the Adrian Dominican Sisters may not have a physical presence on the Siena Heights campus. However, our Catholic identity and Dominican tradition must continue. My goal is to help “pass the torch” to our current faculty, staff and students, so they can keep that tradition alive. To help that cause, Sister Mary Jones, OP was hired as director of Mission Education and Heritage Development. Her charge will be to develop the Heritage Project. She brings some exciting ideas on how to do that, including using the latest technology.
I would also challenge you, our alumni and friends, to join in our efforts. You experienced that Dominican tradition and know how important it is to our mission of becoming more “competent, purposeful and ethical.”
Since my time as president, we’ve included the phrase “A Catholic University in the Dominican Tradition” at the bottom of all University letterhead. It is not just a footnote, but something we say with pride.
May God continue to bless Siena Heights and deepen its Catholic and Dominican roots.
Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD