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Father Jonathan's Speech on Inclusiveness

father jonanthanAt the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year, Saint Anselm College president, Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., welcomed faculty and staff back to campus with an opening dinner. Father Jonathan took the opportunity to remind us of the college's dedication to educating students for the future, and in the spirit of inclusiveness, to prepare students for the challenges each shall navigate in an increasingly diverse world.

Included below are excerpts of his speech that highlight Saint Anselm's continued effort to diversify the campus through curricular and co-curricular activities. In addition, Father Jonathan welcomes comments on this challenge. Please feel free to write or e-mail at

"As this college has grown and developed and changed in so many ways that fundamental task has not changed.  We are still about improving the lives of our students, still about educating them well for the world in which they will live - not the world of the 19th or even 20th centuries, but this new world of the 21st century that is so much characterized by global awareness and communication and by enormously complex political and ethical questions."

"Our students will have to navigate their way through life in a world very different from the one that almost everyone in this room grew up in; a world that presents challenges that even a decade ago we might never have imagined.  To do that - and to do it well - means that Saint Anselm must look at itself again and ask if we are doing the work that we need to be doing.  Are we open to new challenge of being a truly Catholic college that is truly inclusive of all?"

"We need to become a college community that, because of our Catholic identity, intentionally and deliberately reaches out with open arms and open minds to all people and to the truth wherever it is found.  We could all just rest content with who are right now.  But the consequence of that would be to constrain this fine college to be less than it can be; it would make us unfaithful to the founding vision, to our mission, to our role in the Church and society."

"Among the many goals of the college's strategic plan, one is that we be deliberate and intentional in thinking about how our faculty, staff, students, as well as our curricular and co-curricular efforts support our goals for diversifying this campus. When we talk about diversity, we are talking not just about the who that studies or works at Saint Anselm College, but also about the what that great mosaic of courses, programs, and experiences that come together to produce a Saint Anselm education."

"My friends and colleagues, inclusiveness is a way of being in the world, a state of heart and mind that knows that when we step into the unfamiliar, when we open ourselves to that what is new or different, we become more than we might have been."