President Jim Donahue addressed the staff during the annual Staff Day and pledged to continue the College’s mission and, in particular, the Lasallian value of respect for all persons.
Noting that he has focused his career on understanding the identity and character of institutions, he said institutions are known for the conversations they have, the questions they ask and the goals to which they aspire. “It’s important that we talk about real things, important things, substantive things, things that matter,” he said, setting the tone for his administration.
He emphasized that the College must “continue to honor, respect and affirm everyone who is a part of this community” and added: “I promise that in my time as president I will do everything I can to ensure that Saint Mary’s College continues to be a place where everyone feels a sense of meaning and purpose and value."
This year’s Staff Day focused on the College’s plans for “hiring for mission,” or selecting employees who can support and contribute to Saint Mary’s mission. To that end, the Staff Council presented a panel of employees who role-played an employment interview to clarify the concept of hiring for mission, as practiced at SMC. The panelists were:
Director of Residential Experience Al Day
Assistant Vice President of Development Lisa Moore
Director of New Student and Family Programs Jennifer Herzog
Director of Community and Government Relations Tim Farley
Provost Beth Dobkin also gave a presentation about the ideas underpinning the work of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence, and traced the stages on the path to true inclusion.
Coordinator of Mission Sally Jamison listed a number of opportunities for staff members to learn more about the College’s mission, including Soup and Substance and next year's Rummery Retreat, which will be a collaboration between Brother Gerard Rummery and SMC’s former president, Brother Ronald Gallagher. For more opportunities, see the Office of Mission listing.
Before the entire staff gathered on the Chapel lawn for a communal barbeque, two staff members—Reference Librarian Elise Wong and Associate Dean of Students Jim Sciuto— brought the idea of SMC’s mission to life with brief talks that drew on essays they had written on what it means to be a Lasallian educator, which have been published in the SMC’s Educational Perspectives magazine.
Sciuto mentioned that Saint Mary’s mission is crystallized for him in three things: Collegiate Seminar; Move-in Day, when SMC students literally lend a hand to entering students as they move into the dorms; and dinner with the Christian Brothers, which he described as being full of “passionate discussion, but always from a place of love.”
Office of College Communications