Trustee Address, Mr. Charles M. Pollard
Friends; fellow alumni; members of the Board of Trustees; distinguished guests; members of the faculty, administration and staff; parents and students. Welcome to this special occasion marking the installation of the tenth president of Saint Anselm College, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo. I extend a special welcome to Dr. DiSalvo's family: his wife, Eileen, and his sons, Thomas, Andrew, and Connor, who join him here today, and to Dr. DiSalvo's parents, Arline and Sal.
This is a historic occasion for Saint Anselm College, a place rich in tradition and an institution that holds a special place in the hearts of everyone in this academic community. Saint Anselm College was founded nearly a century and a quarter ago by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict to provide a rigorous education in the liberal arts, grounded in a centuries-old intellectual tradition-a tradition that has never weakened.
The inauguration of a college president is a momentous occasion--but the inauguration of Dr. DiSalvo is especially significant for several reasons. It is the first inauguration held at this college, where the position of president has been held by Benedictine monks. Three of the college's nine past presidents have been abbots, beginning with our founding president, Abbot Hilary Pfraengle. So, for Saint Anselm College, having a "first family" is a first. I am very pleased to welcome them into the Saint Anselm College family.
The founders of Saint Anselm College built a lasting foundation of academic excellence. This college's approach to education is based on pursuit of the truth, not just memorizing facts and mastering a particular subject area. Saint Anselm College is a place where talent and ingenuity are valued, but are not the only things that matter. They must be accompanied by wisdom, contemplation, and moral purpose. Graduates leave this college not only with a beautiful piece of paper with a seal on it, but with a key to examining the world.
For the last 24 years, Saint Anselm College has enjoyed the wise leadership of Jonathan DeFelice, a monk of Saint Anselm Abbey. The contributions he has made here extend to every building, every program, every graduate and nearly every current student. It is in no small part due to his tireless efforts that Saint Anselm College holds a place among the nation's outstanding undergraduate liberal arts colleges.
In July, Father Jonathan handed the keys of his office to another remarkable leader who will continue his legacy and build upon it.
Dr. DiSalvo has extensive leadership in Catholic higher education and national philanthropic fund-raising. He was chosen as Saint Anselm's tenth president for this experience and because it is clear that he understands who we are as a college; where we are going; and what our aspirations are for the future. As the college's first lay president, he draws upon the long tradition of Catholic liberal arts education, inspired by those who have gone before him in this office.
The chancellor and the Board of Trustees are impressed by Dr. DiSalvo's intellect and experience and his devotion to Catholic, liberal arts education. With respect for this college's distinguished history, he will strive to bring us to the next level and make a great institution even greater. Faced with an evolving world of higher education in a challenging economy, he will explore innovative solutions, proffer fresh ideas, and listen eagerly to our voices. 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.
The installation of President DiSalvo represents faith in the future of Saint Anselm College. To me, this is a great day in our history. Thank you all for joining in this celebration of our proud history, and for welcoming, with me, our new president, Dr. Steven DiSalvo.
We offer him our prayers of support. With him at our helm, we look forward to a vibrant future. And with us at his side, he will guide this college forward in its mission to support our students and be a positive force in our world.