Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


From the President:

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

Reflecting on the Dominican Tradition

Recently, I attended the biennial Sponsorship Conference for all the institutions sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While attending, I had the opportunity to reflect on leadership and what it means to be a university founded in the Dominican tradition.

The following are some of my thoughts:

Because we are part of a Dominican establishment, we are all family, we are all related. Each of us are leaders in our own way. How do we lead? Is anyone following? When St. Dominic formed the Order in 1214, he believed that the Prior of the Order or the Master General should realize that he was the first among equals. That’s also how I think leaders should see themselves today. When we lead, we must be servant-leaders, putting the needs of the institution/organization/community and the people we serve first.

How do we live the mission of Siena Heights University? Many of us have multiple interactions each day. What is the quality of those interactions? Do we speak with respect and listen with interest, or do we dismiss people as well as what they have to offer? Right relationships must be the foundation on which our mission is built. It can’t be assumed. It is an intentional act. If relationships are off-kilter, then it is difficult to sincerely live our mission. Mission is not something to be written on a piece of paper and tucked away. It is something that must live and breathe, grow and deepen each day.

Read more . . .

From the Editor:

Doug Goodnough, Reflections Editor
Doug Goodnough, Reflections Editor

Dominican “Daisies” In Bloom at SHU

“The memory of Mother Augustine Neuhierl lived on in the prophetic words spoken to the professed nuns gathered around her bedside during her last hours on this earth. She told them of the ‘daisy field,’ her vision of a peninsula in the West dotted white with Dominican foundations; and she reminded them that, though they were contemplatives, their active work would take them into the schools awaiting them.”
From “Amid the Alien Corn,” Sister Mary Philip Ryan, OP.

I love history. I’ve learned from my personal and professional experience there are few things that put the present in perspective and help map the future better than studying the past.

So, not long after I arrived at Siena Heights, I had a chance to read “Amid the Alien Corn,” a 1967 work chronicling the history of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, which, of course, includes the founding of St. Joseph College, now Siena Heights University.

I found the above passage of Mother Augustine fascinating. The title of the chapter was aptly named “The Prophecy.” Her vision of this “daisy field” that she shared with her fellow Sisters, some of whom would eventually travel from New York to Adrian, Mich., has stayed with me during my time here. Even though I did not know very much about Siena Heights at the time, I couldn’t help but wonder if Mother Augustine was referring to—at least in part—present-day developments.

Read more . . .

From the Alumni Office:

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

No Typical Alumni!

My first encounter with Siena Heights occurred 25 years ago when I answered a phone call for my husband, Tracy. The caller was a professor, my husband’s advisor, but he hadn’t seen Tracy for a while. I knew that Tracy had had other things on his mind: a wedding, a demanding job, kidney dialysis, a kidney transplant, and then a leg amputation. But this professor didn’t know any of that. He just knew Tracy was close to completing his B.A., and he didn’t want him to quit: “Tell him we hope he’ll come back,” he said. “We want him to finish that degree.”

I was dumbfounded. Who bothered to keep track of individual students and notice when they stopped out? What college took the time to call a part-time guy on the 27-year plan…and encourage him to keep going? Who did that?

Siena Heights did. Professor Bill Blackerby did.

Tracy’s graduation a few years later was another eye-opener. I had attended a traditional liberal arts college and worked at two others; there, a “typical” graduate was about 22 years old. But sitting in the Fieldhouse in 1993, I knew … knew in a new way … that no senior had worked harder to reach this day than my 45-year-old husband. And no family was any prouder of their graduate than we were. What an epiphany!

At that moment, I became a fan of non-traditional education.

Read more . . .