Faculty Convocation Opens Fall Semester

At the annual Faculty Convocation, held on Aug. 31 the College welcomed new members and congratulated all who have received promotions in the past year.

At the annual Faculty Convocation, held on Aug. 31 the College welcomed new members and congratulated all who have received promotions in the past year. The deans of the five schools welcomed 26 new faculty members (see the complete list), and William Clyde, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost, introduced new administrators and staff.

In the Provost’s address to the convocation, Clyde spoke on what it means to be a role model, and how each one of us is a role model to our students and others in everything we do. He also pointed out that Manhattan College “has a long and rich history filled with worthy and challenging role models” beginning with John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers, who set a high standard in caring for his students and was an incredible innovator in education.

“Luckily, we have been blessed with many worthy role models, Brothers and those who have worked in association with the Brothers,” said Clyde. “Faculty such as Brother Francis Bowers, Brother Luke Salm, Brother Jasper of Mary, Donald O’Connor, Joe Reynolds, Sr. Kathleen Tracey, Earnie Speranza, Frank Taylor and Frank Lodato have built on the legacy and raised the bar for all of us, and have been exemplary educators in and out of the classroom.”

As Clyde concluded by encouraging the audience to be a role model and “rise to the challenge every minute of every day,” he welcomed Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College, to the podium. O’Donnell started off his speech thanking all of the role models at the College who had worked so hard in the last year and reached particular milestones.

He also highlighted some College news, including: the enrollment of an excellent freshman class, the largest class to enter in many years; residence halls at 98 percent of capacity; and the successful launching of many new programs, including the Arches, a pilot learning and living program starting this fall, where students enroll in paired core classes in English and religious studies, live as a community in a wing of East Hill, and participate in service-learning opportunities.

O’Donnell updated the community on a few key accomplishments of the past year, and outlined important initiatives for the year. Chief among these are the College’s application for reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, implementation of the College’s new branding and integrated marketing initiative, the campaign for the Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons; and implementation of the College’s new strategic plan, Renewing the Promise: Manhattan College 2025. The Middle States self-study project is on schedule for a March visit by the reaccreditation team. The branding and integrated marketing initiative is also advancing with the unveiling of the new College logo and sharpened athletics logos, new stationery design and templates for campus signage, the complete redesign of the website (soon to be launched), and a bold and comprehensive new advertising campaign: the Promise of Manhattan College. Fundraising for the Student Commons continues on a strong course, and the project is on track for a December 2012 groundbreaking. The strategic plan, approved by the Board of Trustees in June, will challenge the community to follow through on what O’Donnell called its “ambitious but achievable core goals, all of which focus squarely on the heart of the College’s mission – excellence in teaching and learning in the Catholic Lasallian tradition.”

“The strategic plan places academics and student life at the center of its initiatives, and integrates the other operations of the College in service of the core mission,” explained O’Donnell. He added that implementing the plan would be one of the most important projects of the new academic year and beyond.

“Thank you for all that you do day in and day out to make Manhattan College a great place — and a constantly better place—to learn and to live and to work,” O’Donnell said in closing.