From The President

From the President

The end of another academic year can be an ideal time for reflection. On May 22 and 23 we held our annual commencement celebrations. These ceremonies are very exciting for everyone at Niagara University, particularly for our graduates. They now move to a new chapter in their lives. Some will choose to begin their careers, while others will look to continue their education with graduate school.

Faculty, staff and administration can look at this time as a time to reaffirm our work, which is driven by our mission. As you may be aware, our mission states that we educate our students and enrich their lives through programs in the liberal arts and through career preparation, informed by the Catholic and Vincentian traditions.

Often when I personally speak about Niagara, I use three words from the mission: We are a university that is Catholic and Vincentian. I choose these words because they speak to the heart, soul and purpose of Niagara University. These are words that influence everything that is done here to fulfill our educational mission. And these words, this part of our mission, are very apparent in this edition of the Eagle.

Niagara is a Catholic university. It provides an education that recognizes the God-given dignity and worth of every individual. We provide a holistic education to help our students develop themselves in mind, body and spirit. Throughout this publication, you will see examples of Niagara's work in accepting every individual. Whether it is one of our workshops on making education accessible to all, or an art exhibit from economically disadvantaged individuals, or one of the many multicultural events we have held recently, you will see Niagara's commitment to every individual.

As a Vincentian university, we seek to inspire our students to serve others, especially those who are among the neediest and most marginalized. Recently, Jonathan Keppler worked on a medical mission in Jamaica as part of Niagara's MBA program, and its concentration in health care administration. This type of educational experience will make a difference in Jonathan's career, and as you will read in his story, clearly made a difference in the area he served.

As a university, we continually strive for excellence-excellence in teaching and learning, excellence in research and publishing, and excellence in the many ways in which we serve and care for our students. Dr. Seneca Vaught, an assistant professor of history, discusses his experience in a faculty exchange program with a university in Bogota, Colombia. Through this partnership, Dr. Vaught travelled to Bogota to lecture for a week. As part of the exchange, Niagara was honored to then welcome Luis Angel Madrid to our campus to speak and interact with our students. This type of study provides our students with a unique learning experience and cross-cultural education.

You will notice that there is a clear theme of diversity woven through the stories I mention. The cover story of the magazine, "Diversity Matters: Creating a Welcoming and Inclusive Niagara Campus," takes a much closer look at the initiatives the university has been working on for a number of years. I am pleased to say that our programs relating to diversity focus on a number of areas, including curriculum development and campus activities, as well as recruitment for our entire campus. As our students prepare themselves for work in an ever increasing global market, the experience of learning in a diverse environment will take on greater importance.

Overall, through its curricular and extracurricular programs, Niagara University seeks to develop the whole person, mind, body, heart and soul, for the benefit of one's personal and professional life.

As always, I look forward to hearing your input on the campaign, or your experience at Niagara University. I welcome your comments and suggestions at jll@niagara.edu.