President Favazza, on behalf of the Faculty, it is my great privilege to welcome you to Saint Anselm College. Your path to us illuminates the beauty of divine providence. From your humble beginnings as a first generation college student at St. Meinrad College, a Benedictine College in my home state of Indiana, to your Fulbright work abroad in Romania with your wife, Dr. Paddy Cronin Favazza. Your academic journey to us has been enriched in the Benedictine values we hold so dear--stewardship, humility, and a call to serve the common good.
Our faculty have found in you a fellow academic—a colleague who grasps and manifests the essential tenants of our College’s mission of providing a Catholic Liberal Arts education informed by the Benedictine charism and tradition. We welcome your leadership as we continue our work of instilling in our students a commitment to faith and reason, inclusivity and community, truth and imagination.
You have many tasks ahead of you. The higher education landscape is changing and student debt is becoming an ever growing mountain in that landscape. We want our students to leave Saint Anselm prepared by an educational experience that inspires them to develop, care for and sustain their communities amid a society that currently pressures them to only value their individual needs and desires, and to disregard or devalue the people most marginalized in those communities.
Among your many challenges, you must lead us while promoting two paradoxical values: stability and transformation. Saint Anselm College is rooted in the Benedictine intellectual tradition that values stability. This stability of place and faith originates in the monastery and has shaped our campus. It permeates our lives and informs our commitment to this place, to the students who come to study here, and to one other.
However, it is easy to mistake stability for complacency. “Because we have always done it that way” can never be the sole reason for any action we take. Even as we sustain a resilient Catholic intellectual tradition, we must also appreciate that adaptation and transformational methods of inquiry are necessary to ensure our graduates are prepared for the kind of critical problem solving that they and our world will need long after they have left our Hilltop.
As a faculty, we know you understand this responsibility. Please also know we are here to help. We are here to work with you, with a commitment to listen and a commitment to engage. We faculty were drawn here because we whole-heartedly believe in the values of this institution When we come hear each day we are responding to a call to serve the common good. We are coming to a place where we can exercise our intellectual passions and talents in a way that can inspire our students and give them a love of learning and service in their new home away from home. We set about that work with generous support of one another, with great interest in the ideas of our colleagues in all disciplines, and with a joy that sees us through even long New Hampshire winters.
We now invite you to join us in this great work. We are delighted to share our beloved academic home with you and your family! May God bless us on our new journey forward together.