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From the Editor:

Doug Goodnough, Reflections Editor
Doug Goodnough, Reflections Editor

It’s All the Way for Ray

Though my waistline tells a different story, I like to think of myself as a regular visitor to the Dawson Fitness Center on campus. One of the job perks is using our fitness facilities to work out the stresses of the day.

Most of the time I share the space with many of our student-athletes, who (hopefully) tolerate my presence. I’m sure they often wonder why I waste my time. Oh well. However, I do get a chance to even talk to a few of them from time to time. One of the things I’ve learned is I don’t call our 6-foot-9, 250-plus pound basketballer “Vinny.” It’s “Vince.” Yes sir, Mr. Schantz.

But most of the time, I silently observe our student-athletes go through the process of maximizing their potential. There was one in particular who caught my attention a couple of summers ago. He was a big guy, probably a football player, I thought. His name was Ray.

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From the Alumni Office:

Jennifer Hamlin Church
Associate VP for Advancement &
Director of Alumni Relations

Why We Do What We Do. And Why It Matters.

At Fall Convocation, Religious Studies Professor Ian Bell spoke to a standing-room only crowd in St. Dominic Chapel. Convocation is the official kick-off of each new academic year and the speech by each year’s Eileen Rice Teaching Award winner is always a highlight.

In an address titled “Why We Do the Things We Do,” Professor Bell talked about why he is so deeply committed to Siena Heights—and what makes this place so special.

It all comes down to mission and identity.

Siena Heights is a Catholic university where “faith and reason walk hand in hand,” he said: Unlike many colleges, where education is considered strictly intellectual, Siena Heights actively encourages students “to ask questions about faith and religion,” without judging or forcing the answers. “The encounter with one’s faith—be it Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or other—is not only tolerated but encouraged.”

We want you to become more competent, purposeful and ethical, Dr. Bell told the students; and to do so in an environment that respects the dignity of all. Why? Because “we desire good things for you”—a good life and the kind of success that is defined not by wealth or possessions but by whether the human community is “better off because of the choices you make and the actions you take.”

He ended with a plea: “Take your identity and mission seriously. Embrace questions of meaning. Explore the arts. Examine the workings of the world. Become a better thinker. If  you do this, you will be able to define yourself not in terms of what you do, but in terms of who you are.” And, he added, “You will know why you do the things you do.”

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From the Editor:

Doug Goodnough
Reflections Editor

What Can You Do for Siena Heights University?

I recently had a chance to meet with our Alumni Association Board at its annual retreat. Meetings are not an unusual occurrence for someone in my position. As director of Marketing, I often have to sit down with various individuals, groups, committees and organizations on campus. In fact, I sometimes think I spend more times in meetings than anything else I am involved with at the University. But it’s the nature of the position.

And, honestly, most of the time these meetings focus on what I – or my office – can do for them. Maybe it’s a brochure. Or a press release. Or a web site change. Or a photo. And that’s fine. Besides, that’s what we’re here for – to serve, promote, support and advance the University.

Towards the end of my update to our alumni board, President Michael Lane had one final question for me, and one that I don’t get asked very often. He said, “What can we as alumni do for you?”

Hmmm. That threw me for a bit of a loop. I didn’t have much time to ponder that question, but I came up with the best answer I had at the moment: to be an “ambassador” for your alma mater. Our graduates can represent the brand of Siena Heights to everyone they meet. That made sense. After all, that’s what someone in marketing is supposed to say, right?

However, that question lingered beyond that meeting as I thought a little more about some possible alternative answers. Just what can alumni do for me? That led me to an even better question: what can they do for Siena Heights University?

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