Drs. Favazza, Abbot Mark, members of the monastic community, fellow members of the board of trustees, faculty, staff, students, and friends…good afternoon and welcome.
My name is Ann Catino. As an alumna of the class of 1982 and the Chair of the Board of Trustees, it my pleasure and privilege to be speaking to you on such a special occasion. It isn’t everyday that we install a new President to lead us forward as a College.
When we began the presidential selection process, we certainly had no idea where it would lead and who our candidates would be. As a member of the presidential search committee, I can tell you that this incredibly dedicated group of people, who were comprised of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and a student representative, brought valuable perspectives to the process, which began over a year ago. Today, we see the proud culmination of our efforts, and I think I speak for the entire committee and the Board of Trustees who ultimately approved the candidate, that when we saw Dr. Favazza, it was magical.
During the interview process, it was readily apparent that Dr. Favazza clearly understood the challenges that small liberal arts colleges like ours are facing, but his style, demeanor, thoughtfulness, and overall approach to those challenges was particularly impactful. Dr. Favazza is a listener, which certainly embraces our Benedictine identity very well. He also articulated that his approach would clearly involve collaboration throughout the campus and enhanced communication, which is a characteristic that not only the trustees but the search committee prioritized throughout the search process. It was clear that Dr. Favazza's natural tendency was toward communication and community. He was quite striking in his sincerity to talk "with" faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni, the members of the Abbey and the trustees to learn about our College community and our culture. In Dr. Favazza we also found a leader who has a solid foundation in the liberal arts. With his experience at a small, Catholic liberal arts colleges, his background as a Provost, and as a student of the Benedictine tradition, he embodied the type of experiential leader we were seeking. While he expressed thoughtfulness, he also eagerly engaged in a dialogue on creative ideas to capitalize on our strengths, differentiate us, and grow the institution. I think it was clear to the search committee that Dr. Favazza would be very thoughtful and deliberative in his approach to growing and strengthening the College.
As a board, we were immediately drawn to Dr. Favazza’s vision of what the future of Saint Anselm can be and his deep understanding of the value of a liberal arts intellectual education and our traditional core. He also recognizes and embraces the need to prepare students for today’s work force by instilling the values of life-long learning and service to others. His focus is on our students, and he will ensure that our students reach their fullest potential in their lifelong pursuit of truth, personal growth, and service. Our mission was his mission.
I can confidently say that we have found in Dr. Favazza a president who will strengthen our Benedictine and Catholic spirit and guide the college forward. He understands our challenges and is ready to meet them head on. I’m confident that under Dr. Favazza’s leadership, we will embark on strengthening our core, and not only remain relevant and competitive, but be a bright, shining north star for our students, our College and the Manchester community for years to come.
Dr. Favazza arrived at the college on July 15th and hit the ground running. Having worked with Dr. Favazza now for three months, I am witness to the approach he articulated during the interview process. He is genuine and sincere and has begun to engage our entire Anselmian community. He is working closely and effectively with our board, the faculty, staff, the members of Saint Anselm Abbey, and our entire community – and we look forward to many more years of that.
So, today, I am so pleased to present to you our new president, Dr. Joseph A. Favazza. Thank you for joining us on this historic day, as our institution embarks on this exciting new chapter. Dr. Favazza, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, welcome. Dr. Paddy Favazza, we also look forward to getting to you know you and we warmly welcome you to our College, our community as well as your four children, Alina, Ana-Marlise, Petr, and Isabella. We look forward to a vibrant future for Saint Anselm under Dr. Joseph Favazza’s leadership and the warmest welcome to you, your family and friends who are here today.