President’s Message

Dear Members of the John Carroll University Community:

I am honored to have been appointed as the Interim President of John Carroll University. As an alumna, I am especially delighted to share with you some of John Carroll’s recent accomplishments, which affirm your (and my) alma mater as an institution of promise and prominence.

We have continued to receive national recognition for undergraduate education, our commitment to service, and our ability to prepare students for success after graduation. This is reflected in the current freshman class, whose enrollment numbers exceeded our goal for this year.

We were honored to welcome more than 500 Jesuit alums and friends to campus for the World Union of Jesuit Alumni 2017 Congress this summer.

We will have 18 new faculty join the JCU community this fall. While their areas of expertise span a wide range of disciplines, many of these new hires support the University’s strategic effort to promote unique and high-value programs.

Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, then-Superior General of the Society of Jesus, has confidently affirmed the Jesuit Catholic identity of John Carroll University. We were one of only three universities out of the 28 Jesuit institutions in the nation to undergo the first round of this process.

As I look to the year ahead, I would like to spend a bit of time reflecting with you on these two words: home and accompaniment.

Home is surely one of the most beautiful words in the English language—in any language. In literature it is one of the words that can summon forth a complex of emotions that signal security, support, love. The places and the people that make your home are centering points in your life.

We hear frequently from students and alumni that John Carroll is “a home away from home.” While this indeed reflects the comfort of belonging and the lifelong relationships that are built here, it also goes much deeper. It reflects John Carroll’s commitment to knowing all students as individuals and challenging them to become their true selves—men and women of character, leadership, service and intellect. The faculty at Jesuit schools have the privilege of accompanying our students on what we hope is a lifelong encounter with newness and difference.

But in addition to the rootedness of home, we also, in Jesuit education and Ignatian pedagogy, place high value on journeying out to find and encounter, through God’s grace, the place where we can meet the stranger and be a source of solace and support for another.

The Jesuits, the Society of Jesus, are also known as the Companions of Jesus. Not followers, not leaders, but companions. Accompaniment is the fundamental disposition that shapes all of the work of justice, of dignity and of respect. Pope Francis has said that accompaniment, solidarity, and receptivity “teach us to remove our sandals before the sacredness of the other person.” In doing so, while we may encounter that other person in suffering or need, accompaniment recognizes the created beauty of the individual. In these incredible moment of solidarity, we do not know, and do not need to know, who is the follower and who is the leader.

As you read through this issue, I hope you too will recognize how these ideas of home and accompaniment have evolved and solidified at John Carroll—from outreach efforts through Circle K and the Cardinal Newman Sodality in the mid ‘60s to our life-changing immersion trips and robust Center for Service and Social Action programs that provide over 15,000 hours of student service each week—yes, each week—to those in our community


Jeanne M. Colleran, Ph.D.

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