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Campaign News—Fall 2012

On Higher Ground Campaign Closes with $19 Million Raised

Siena Heights University closed the most successful campaign in the institution’s history with an on-campus celebration Oct. 16. The On Higher Ground Campaign shattered its original goal of $13 million by finishing with more than $19 million in pledges and gifts over a three-year period. The campaign officially ended on June 30, 2012.

“The campaign response was everything we had hoped for and more,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. “We secured the largest individual gifts in the institution’s history, and we now have visible evidence of what this campaign has meant for Siena Heights—especially for our students.”

The campaign addressed three primary priorities: new athletic facilities, a new university center and growing the endowment through securing planned and estate gifts.

O’Laughlin Stadium and Dawson Field were completed in fall 2011, and now host athletic events such as football, track and field, soccer and lacrosse.

The baseball field, completed last spring, features an artificial surface infield and is considered one of the premier small-college facilities in the region. In July 2012, the Mary and Sash Spencer Athletic Complex opened adjacent to the stadium and features state-of-the-art locker rooms, offices and training facilities.

Construction is currently underway on the new McLaughlin University Center, which will include a dining service, bookstore, community rooms and recreational space. The student center will be a functional gathering space and will benefit all segments of the university community, enhance the quality of student life for resident and non-resident students alike and support more community events. The center is scheduled to be open by the time classes begin in fall 2013.

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Bell Rings True at SHU

Religious Studies Professor Earns the Respect of His Peers and Students as the 2012 Rice Award Winner

By Austin Harper ’13—Student Writer

Dr. Ian Bell is more to his students than a professor. He is a confidant, a role model, a leader, a mentor and a friend.

As the 2012 winner of the Sister Eileen Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching, the chair of the Humanities Division and associate professor of Religious Studies was recognized for his exceptional teaching methods and his incomparable commitment to his students.

All those above-mentioned attributes make him one of the most beloved faculty members at SHU.

The Sister Eileen Rice Award is presented to the professor who receives the most votes from students. Recommendations from faculty members are also taken into consideration, and then a committee, which includes the prior award recipients, decides who is most deserving of the award. In the three previous years, winners of the award were Joe Raab, Jeffrey Lindstrom and Nick Kaplan.

Bell’s initial plan was to become a mechanical engineer, not a college professor. The Wisconsin native began his studies at Michigan Tech University, but during his first year he started to reconsider that choice.

“My atheist friends questioned how I could be a Christian,” Bell said. “I started struggling with the doctrines of the incarnation and Trinity. I began focusing on faith rather than calculus, which resulted in academic problems.”

He transferred to the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., where he received a degree in youth ministry. He spent a year-and-a-half teaching in a parish in Minnesota as a youth minister but chose to continue his scholarly career. At the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., he received his master’s degree. He later received his PhD in Religious Studies with an emphasis in systematic theology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.

In 2003, began his teaching career at Marquette as a graduate student. In 2007, he was hired at SHU, where he is in his sixth year. Bell also heads the annual Chiodini/Fontana Lecture Series on Ethics at Siena Heights, and has influenced curriculum development in religious studies and has continued to produce scholarly publications.

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Alumni News—Fall 2012

Alumni Focus

Dawn Huggins ’93, ’98
Dawn Huggins ’93, ’98
Cammy DiPietro ’87, ’00/MA
Cammy DiPietro ’87, ’00/MA
Ryan Bills ’02, ’09/MA
Ryan Bills ’02, ’09/MA

The Adrian Schools Educational Foundation named its outstanding teachers for 2012, and they include Dawn HugginsCammy DiPietro and Ryan Bills. All three are Siena Heights graduates. They were recognized Oct. 4 at a reception.

Ryan Bills ’02, 09/MA is currently an art and technology teacher at Adrian High School. He is also the International Baccalaureate Programme art instructor. He teaches the Stage Craft class at AHS where students design and build scenery for all the districts plays and musicals. He has taught middle school and elementary school art, coached middle school boys track and high school cross country and served as the technical director for high school musicals and plays. Bills has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts from Siena Heights.

Cammy DiPietro ’87, 00/MA is a fifth- and sixth-grade language arts, reading and social studies teacher at AMS 5-6, where she has been for eight years. She taught the same subjects at the seventh- and eighth-grade level at APS, where she also served for many years as student council and peer mediators supervisor. She is the school liaison for the “Reading is Cool” program, and also has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SHU.

Dawn Huggins ’93, ’98 is currently a kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. She has also taught first and second grade. She has two bachelor’s degrees from Siena Heights University. Huggins’ nominators recognized her ability to understand each student’s learning style and use the right combination of emotional and academic support to challenge her students to learn.

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