Thursday July 7, 2016

Gratitude

During moments of transition, I think it's important to step back and reflect.

We teach our students to change and adapt to meet the needs of the times, but, let's face it, change is rarely easy for anyone.

I have been so impressed by how the University of Dayton community has handled the presidential transition over the last nine months — from honoring the legacy of outgoing president Dan Curran to welcoming me and my family with open arms and open minds. Sure, dealing with “two presidents” during the transition has meant a lot of extra work for many people on campus, but there has been only a willing and gracious attitude.

I thank all of you who have carried an extra burden or gone above and beyond to support the move to a new president.

I'm particularly grateful to President Curran, who worked selflessly to make the transition seamless. Before I became president, he supported my working with him and others to fill four important administrative roles with outstanding leaders who will put their mark on our curriculum, diversity, student profile, and fundraising and alumni engagement efforts well into the future. 

With a smile and with grace, Dan made room for a new president. Together, we appeared at alumni community gatherings and followed the NCAA-bound Flyers to St. Louis. We jumped on a plane headed to Washington, D.C., to promote regional economic development at the annual Dayton Development Coalition's Community Leader Fly-In. We drove to Cincinnati to meet Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and talk about faith and identity, the soul of any Catholic university.

I've discovered that continuity and change are not mutually exclusive at the University of Dayton. We embrace both.

Last week's Dayton Daily News photo shoot with Brother Ray Fitz, S.M., and President Curran captured an unforgettable moment. Three presidents, three eras, one university.

As I pause to reflect on this smooth presidential transition, I know I've landed at a university that's a model for higher education. This is a strong campus community that supports one another and looks to the future with confidence and faith.

For that, I'm filled with gratitude.

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