In late April and early May, the Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrated Panther Pride at Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, OH, and congratulated the Fearless Falcons of Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, CT, as the two institutions welcomed their 16th and 14th Presidents, respectively.
Ohio Dominican University officially installed Dr. Robert A. Gervasi as the University’s 16th president at a ceremony on Friday, April 27,
2018, in Alumni Hall. The inauguration ceremony was the highlight of a weeklong celebration that included a lecture on Dominican Saint Catherine of Siena, an Inauguration Mass officiated by The Most Reverend Bishop Frederick F. Campbell, D.D., Ph.D., an all-campus celebration and reception, and an alumni reunion.
Gervasi was introduced by Dr. Donna Carroll, president of Dominican University in River Forest, IL, a personal friend who also represented the Presidents of Dominican institutions across the country.
In an emotional inaugural address, Gervasi recounted the history of the University’s founding congregation, the role of the four pillars of Dominican life, and the future of Ohio Dominican University, closing his speech with a poem written by Sister Estelle Calandra on the centenary of the Dominican Sisters’ arrival in Columbus, entitled the One Hundredth Year. In part:
“Those women who left Perry County’s green hills lived well this green secret a hundred years ago – that many small nostalgias of the heart cannot all be kept. That some must sometime go.
Yielding with grace the thousand inconsequential, they brought with them only the triangled essentials their daily bringing to the offertory of God’s people: the wheat of their will, the wine of their love, the incense of their vows
These were their heritage, and these are ours still.”
As a part of the weekend’s festivities, Sr. Margie Davis, OP, was honored as a distinguished alumna. Sister Margie, who received her degree from ODU in 1972, has served as the director of Campus Ministry at ODU since 2013.
Ohio Dominican University was chartered in 1911 as the College of St. Mary of the Springs by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Founded as an all-women’s school, the college became coeducational in 1964, changed its name to Ohio Dominican College in 1968, and became a university on July 1, 2002.
The Congregation also celebrated as Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, inaugurated Dr. Marc M. Camille as its 14th president on May 4, 2018. The four-day inaugural celebration centered on the Dominican Pillars of Study, Prayer, Community, and Service.
To celebrate study the community engaged in a Fearless Forum: “A Celebration of the Liberal Arts at Albertus.” The programming consisted of an evening of art, song and students and faculty presentations reflecting on courage.
To honor the pillar of prayer, the college community and guests participated in a Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Rev. Brian Linnane, SJ, President of Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, at St. Joseph’s Church in New Haven, CT. The liturgy was followed by a reception.
The Installation Ceremony itself demonstrated the pillar of community. Among the speakers were Archbishop Leonard P. Blair representing the Archdiocese of Hartford, Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, OP, President of Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY, representing the Dominican Colleges and Universities, Sr. Patricia Twohill representing the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Sr. Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP, who gave the keynote address, entitled, “Holy Curiosity: Pursuing Truth, Embracing Wisdom.
The pillar of service was observed as more than 1,900 people donated their time in honor of the Inauguration. Participants received a commemorative t-shirt and those who did local service gathered for a community picnic at the college.
In his inaugural remarks, Camille addressed the history of the college as, in the words of its first chaplain, “a movement toward the realization of distinct and substantial ideals… that education is the development of the entire being.” He addressed the college’s dedication to service, and the great charity and love identified by faculty, students and staff as the primary characteristic of the college and its community.
In referencing the founding Congregation and Dominican tradition of the college, Camille cited a number quotes from the Dominican Saint Catherine of Siena and closed by assuring those in attendance that the “college’s brightest moments are yet to unfold.”
In 1924, the Dominican Sisters of Peace purchased an estate in New Haven, CT, for a women’s college. The first classes at Albertus Magnus College were held on September 24, 1925. In 1985, Albertus Magnus College became co-educational and began taking steps to make life-long learning easier for working adults. In 1992, Albertus Magnus offered its first of its now eight graduate programs.
“We are so blessed to welcome two such outstanding leaders to our founded ministries at Albertus Magnus College and Ohio Dominican University,” said Sister Patricia Twohill, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “Both Bob Gervasi and Marc Camille bring a wealth of experience from their past service in education and business, and are committed to innovation that will make these institutions ever more responsive to the needs of today’s students.”