During the last year Saint Anselm College has witnessed a number of significant changes, from review of and recommendations for our core curriculum, to major personnel and position changes in both the College and Abbey. Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B. has been President of the College since 1990 and will be retiring near the end of this academic year. We hope to conclude, within the next several weeks, the selection of a new President for the College. The finalists have been announced and will be visiting the campus soon to meet with various constituencies in order that our own faculty, staff, students, monastic members, trustees, alumni, and others might meet with, question, and get to know each candidate.
For the first time in the College's history we will be choosing a President who is not a Benedictine member of the Saint Anselm monastic community. I personally want to assure the members of all the various constituencies of this institution that from the very beginning of the search process it has been made clear that it is of paramount importance that we select a practicing Catholic as President, one who is able to profess, live, and explain the faith that is at the very heart of this institution and the education it provides. I am confident that we have identified such individuals in our finalists and am comfortable on this issue as we look to move forward.
Some might ask if we would never have another Benedictine as President. The answer is that we could have another Benedictine as President in the future depending on qualified candidates willing to serve, and depending on the College circumstances at that time.
While having a non-Benedictine as our College leader will be a major change, I believe that we have been careful to ensure and insist that our Catholic mission will be our continued primary focus, and that our Benedictine presence and involvement in that mission will be as vital as our numbers and strength allow.
Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B.
Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey
Chancellor of Saint Anselm College