Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo Inaugurated as First Lay President
Saint Anselm College inaugurated its first lay president, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, in an installation ceremony on the Quad today.
Accepting the office, Dr. DiSalvo said that for him, Catholic higher education was a transformative gift and he is committed to seeing Saint Anselm provide opportunities for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, to meet or exceed their highest potential.
"I ask you to join me as we walk together into tomorrow," he said. "Think bold thoughts. Spread the word about this great institution of higher learning and this magnificent campus."
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and other dignitaries attended and offered remarks welcoming the new president. Governor Hassan praised the college's New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library for educating students to be engaged citizens who understand the principle of self-government.
"We need Saint Anselm and its graduates to continue to be engaged in our shared future," the governor said.
The office of president was conferred by Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., chancellor of the college, and Charles M. Pollard '79, chair of the board of trustees.
"As the college's first lay president, [Dr. DiSalvo] draws upon the long tradition of Catholic liberal arts education, inspired by those who have gone before him in this office," Pollard said. "We place our confidence in him and in the promise he brings to the future of Saint Anselm College. His faith, his industry, and his passion for education inspire us all."
Titled "Faith in the Future," the inauguration began with an academic procession of Saint Anselm faculty members and delegates from about 35 colleges, each one bearing a banner with the year of his college's founding. The procession was lined by 200 students wearing blue "Faith in the Future" tee shirts.
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and other dignitaries attended and offered remarks welcoming the new president. The ceremony also featured remarks by Faculty Senate President Hugh Dubrulle, Student Government Association President Lyndsay Robinson '14, and Kevin Fitzgerald '00, president of the Saint Anselm College Alumni Association.
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the National 9/11 Flag, which tours the country as a symbol of the strength and resiliency of the American people. The 30x20-foot flag was one of the largest that flew above Ground Zero, and holds special meaning for Dr. DiSalvo and his wife, Eileen, since they suffered many losses due to the tragedy. Dr. DiSalvo is a member of the board of the New York Says Thank You Foundation, which is the keeper of the flag.
The flag was carried by about 30 bearers, including the students who serve on the college's EMT squad and alumni who are first responders.
Ending the ceremonies was a uniquely Anselmian feature: the presidential fanfare, "Vers L'Avenir" (Toward the Future), which was composed for the inauguration by Dr. Francis Kayali, a faculty member in the fine arts department.