Dear Members of the Saint Mary's College Community,
We are in the midst of a week filled with significant milestones for students, faculty and staff members. I'd like to highlight a few important institutional markers:
* Today, the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence holds its first meeting. I am grateful to Provost Dobkin for spearheading the establishment of this key body, Professor Robert Bulman for agreeing to serve as co-chair, and to Carole Swain and the members of the Celebrating Diversity Committee for laying the groundwork for future progress.
* On Thursday, the Comprehensive Campaign Steering Committee will hold its first meeting. This group will provide operational guidance for the College's upcoming major fundraising initiatives and set the stage for our sesquicentennial celebration.
* Also on Thursday, College leaders will be meeting with WASC officials. The purpose of this meeting is to inform WASC of current initiatives and plans to meet their requirements. We expect to leave the meeting with WASC's assurance that our plans, if implemented in the months ahead, will fully meet their concerns.
* On Friday, the College's Board of Trustees meets on campus. In addition to receiving reports on comprehensive campaign planning and responding to WASC challenges, the Board will hear from a panel of distinguished members of our senior class. The opportunity to hear from our students is consistently cited by trustees as one of the high points of their service.
* This weekend we will hold two Commencement ceremonies, for undergraduates on Saturday and for graduate programs on Sunday. Congratulations are due to all the students who have earned their degrees and to those faculty and staff who ably accompanied them.
* On Monday, the Core Curriculum Committee shared their report with the Faculty Senate and EPB committee. Thanks to all of these groups for their hard work this year and their evident dedication to making Saint Mary's College a great institution.
This is a time of year for taking stock of the things we have learned over the course of the past term, year or course of study. Just about two weeks ago, I was one of many who gathered in front of the statue of our Founder to hear students speak about their experiences at Saint Mary's.
It was painful to hear descriptions of moments when our community failed to live up to its Lasallian values. At the same time, I was moved by our students' courage, honesty and compassion. I was impressed by their poise, depth of understanding and eloquence. And I was deeply touched by their evident love for Saint Mary's.
Listening to these students I learned a great deal about the steps we need to take to fully achieve our lofty Lasallian vision. I was reminded of our Founder's message to the Brothers that God would be present to them in their students. And finally, listening to our students, I was filled again with hope for the future of Saint Mary's.
My best wishes to faculty, staff and students for a restful and rejuvenating summer.
In St. La Salle,
Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC