Building on the momentum

Maureen Orth, wife of the late Tim Russert ’72; Tom Brokaw, commencement speaker and 2010 honorary degree recipient; Robert L. Niehoff, S.J., president, John Carroll University. Ms. orth presented Mr. Brokaw’s honorary degree to him and read the citation written by George Bilgere, Ph.D., associate professor and poet in John Carroll’s English department.

This issue of John Carroll magazine illustrates that the hard work of our great University never stops—not during the summer or any other time of year. The John Carroll community works tirelessly year-round to prepare our students to become the next generation of leaders.

In May, for example, you could feel our campus community buzzing with energy. At Commencement, the crowd of faculty, staff, students, parents, grandparents, and other loved ones swelled into the thousands under blue skies and a bright sun. As I greeted and congratulated members of the Class of 2010, I knew that John Carroll University was fulfilling its promise to provide an outstanding Jesuit education—mind, body, and spirit.

You will find Commencement and other events on campus chronicled in greater detail in this issue of John Carroll magazine, including our honorary degree recipient and speaker, Tom Brokaw; our distinguished Alumni Medal Award recipients; and several faculty and students recently celebrated for their excellence.

I am particularly excited about our cover story featuring Andrew Rafferty ’09, our first graduate to earn the NBC/John Carroll University Meet the Press Fellowship. When we established this fellowship last summer, we did it to create a lasting tribute to Tim Russert ’72. We couldn’t have asked for a better steward than Andrew to kick off this initiative, and I am confident that our next Meet the Press fellowship recipient, Joseph Toohey ’10, will uphold our new tradition.

The fellowship would not be possible without the generous and gracious support of Tim’s wife, Maureen Orth; their son, Luke Russert; Tim’s close friend and colleague, Tom Brokaw; and our donors. Before he left campus, Mr. Brokaw shared that he couldn’t imagine a better or more fitting way for us to honor Tim than providing a John Carroll student with a Meet the Press fellowship each and every year. I couldn’t agree more.

Looking ahead, we will be a campus on the move this summer. For example, our work on the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship program is accelerating. Our goal is to attract 20 Teaching Fellows with strong math and science backgrounds to this pioneering teacher education program at John Carroll. They will then focus on re-energizing education in the sciences for the young minds in Cleveland’s low-income, public, secondary schools. Work is also starting on our Hamlin Quad, which will restore the area between Grasselli Tower and the Dolan Center for Science and Technology by removing the parking lot and replacing it with a beautiful green space. In August, we will welcome the Class of 2014 – which is one of our brightest and most geographically diverse classes ever.

We must build on the momentum of our spring and summer initiatives. I look forward to our 125th anniversary in 2011, when we will come together for a series of events that will celebrate our Jesuit Catholic heritage and our high-quality education that has transformed the lives of generations of John Carroll students.

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