Friday July 1, 2016

Through the President’s Eyes

Although I have been a Dayton resident for only a week and today is just my first day as president, I feel as though I’ve come home. My family and I have felt welcomed from the moment I was named Dr. Dan Curran’s successor last fall, and the graciousness and warmth with which we have been greeted and supported have made real for me that “community” is not a word used lightly here. It’s a way of life.

This is a community that supports and challenges one another in the Catholic, Marianist tradition. We value collaboration, prize diversity and treasure the gifts of all. This is a community striving to make a difference in the world — and I have seen that our faculty, staff, students and alumni are doing exactly that.

The path that I have traveled to the University of Dayton — including as a father and a Roman Catholic — has taught me about the transformative power of education, the importance of building and nurturing community, and the central role of faith in an institution as complex and diverse as a research university.

I am the son of two teachers — both children of immigrants — one an artist and the other a scientist who became an administrator, and both of whom actively worked to ensure that a moral compass and a social conscience be a central part of who I was to become.

I’ve been mentored by great teachers and colleagues — and inspired by students, who have taught me about dedication and hard work, risk-taking and development of an entrepreneurial mindset, and courage and perseverance.

As we start a new chapter in the University of Dayton’s history, I am committed to listening to diverse voices. I will strive to communicate in an open, transparent fashion. I believe if we work collaboratively, we will reach higher than what we have imagined possible.

I am inspired by the power of this community — and blessed to be a part of it.

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