I will never forget my first day as a Seton Hall student. I arrived on campus eager to learn about my University and to experience life as a Setonian. On that day, the University family embraced me as one of its own. And in time, I learned to stand on the strength of that family to create a successful career and a rewarding life.
On that first day, flush with the excitement of new beginnings, I never would have dreamed that I would serve for many years in the University administration. And even after I left a senior leadership role in 2004, it was never a thought that I would return. Yet Seton Hall’s 19th president, Monsignor Robert Sheeran, liked to remind us that our God is a God of surprises. And all of these surprises are gifts — though some are not without their challenges.
Returning to Seton Hall was a surprise for me. In 2017, I had recently stepped down as president of a Catholic women’s college in Milwaukee and was considering my next steps. As it turned out, those steps led me back to South Orange and the interim presidency of an institution that means the world to me. Serving in this role has truly been a gift — with just a few challenges.
I am proud of what we have accomplished as a community over the past two years. Our dreams have never been greater. The Interprofessional Health Sciences campus and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University have been transformative in all of the right ways. Partially due to the lure of our medical school, recent freshman classes have never been stronger. We continue to be blessed by students whose academic profiles grow more impressive each year.
Alumni have never been more energized. Last year, I challenged myself and my fellow graduates to support our alma mater as never before. And we did. More than 10 percent of undergraduate alumni gave to Seton Hall as part of the “Get to 10” campaign. It remains an amazing achievement, though not unexpected. As a three-time alumna, I know my community of more than 100,000 graduates takes enormous pride in Seton Hall. Giving, volunteering and mentoring by alumni continue to rise.
Our campus has never been more inviting. The addition of Bethany Hall has been a game-changer for University Admissions, campus events, alumni gatherings and more. One look makes me feel even prouder of our campus and community.
My decades of experience have given me a sense of what it takes to lead our much-loved Catholic university. It is not a privileged job, but it is a privilege to serve in the role of president. And the selection of Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., as our next president has filled me with confidence.
Our God is a God of surprises, and in Dr. Nyre we have received a precious gift. I don’t think we will be surprised at how effective he will be as our 21st president. He has all of the skills, personality and experience that are needed to take Seton Hall to the next level. I am delighted that he accepted the University’s offer and pledge that I will do my utmost to ensure a seamless transition.
The Greeks differentiated time with two different words; regular, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour time was called chronos. Extraordinary times of grace and opportunity were kairos moments. Today, as we eagerly anticipate Dr. Nyre’s arrival, we find ourselves in oneof those graced and precious kairos moments.