Dear students, faculty and staff,
I am honored to welcome those of you who are new to the St. Joseph’s College community – and to welcome back everyone else from what I hope were relaxing summer months filled with new experiences and quality time with family and friends.
For me, it’s been a season of new beginnings: A new home, a new job and a new mission. As the eighth president in St. Joseph’s 101-year history, I look forward to working with the SJC community to implement a Strategic Plan that emphasizes the inclusive and transformational mission of St. Joseph’s.
In my short time here, I’ve come to appreciate the kindness and respect that guides our interactions with each other. It is clear that the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph is present and fosters an atmosphere of respect, dignity and good will among all individuals and groups on our campuses.
The inclusive and transformational mission of St. Joseph’s resonates deeply with me, and I can tell from my interactions with students, faculty and staff that we, as a community, truly strive to live up to St. Joseph’s motto, Esse non videri: ‘To be, not to seem.'”
In recent weeks and months, there has been an overwhelming amount of violence and unrest across the country and around the world. Specifically, the appalling acts of hatred and violence carried out by white supremacists last week in Charlottesville, Va., illustrated the vital role that institutions such as St. Joseph’s College play in combatting ignorance and bigotry. Know that such racism and intimidation has never been, nor will ever be, tolerated at St. Joseph’s.
As a school deeply rooted in the liberal arts tradition, St. Joseph’s builds character and instills in its students an understanding that a democracy must make room for many different voices – but we will not allow the expression of ideas that threaten the rights or safety of others.
While we pledge to affirm our spirit and create informed citizens, we have taken steps over the summer to revitalize our physical campuses with the construction of new nursing labs and beautification projects on both campuses.
The inclusive and transformational mission of St. Joseph’s resonates deeply with me, and I can tell from my interactions with students, faculty and staff that we, as a community, truly strive to live up to St. Joseph’s motto, Esse non videri: “To be, not to seem.”
At a time when many colleges and universities are challenged by a rapidly changing world, St. Joseph’s stands for what is great about American education, and for what is most important to our students and their parents – preparing our students for meaningful careers and providing them with the knowledge to transform the world for the better.
Best wishes for a successful academic year.
Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D.