Greetings and Charges:
Investiture and Presentation of the Chain of Office:
“How beautiful are the footsteps of those who bring good news.” (Rom 10:15-17)
With these words from St. Paul, I extend to you, Fr. Lannon, a warm welcome back to the Archdiocese of Omaha.
As the chief shepherd of this local Church, I welcome you as the new President of Creighton University. You are charged with exemplifying and passing on the good news of Christ’s saving love to the students, the faculty, the staff and the community surrounding this beautiful campus. Know, please, that you will be in my prayers as you exercise this important office.
As we know, the source of this good news is not us. Rather, it is in God who is active in our time. It is in God who, not content to wait on us, seeks us out like Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven.” This is not a God who once was, but who still is and still does act in our lives. Ours is simply to respond in love, to participate in what God is doing.
Creighton University can be a place to learn to act in harmony with the plan of God. It can be a place to discover, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man become clear. Here we encounter and live in faith the truth that Christ reveals. Faith in the truth of Jesus Christ is made tangible here liturgically, sacramentally, through prayer, acts of charity, in concern for justice and respect for God’s creation.
Fr. Lannon, you will lead a community of faith and learning at Creighton University where students and faculty have the time and the means to pursue truth, where the commitment to justice tempered by charity and the liturgical life of prayer teach students to know God who acts in and through them. As Pope Benedict XVI has said, at the heart of the mission of the Catholic university is the obligation of teaching the faith that seeks understanding, the faith that is grounded in the truth revealed by Christ.
May God preserve you, Fr. Lannon, and Creighton University in this great mission for the Gospel, for indeed “How beautiful are the footsteps of those who bring good news.”
Let us pray:
Eternal God, source of every gift and talent, through your Son Jesus Christ you grant us your blessings that your people might be strengthened and flourish in the light of your truth.
Bless Father Timothy Lannon as he accepts the office of President of Creighton University. Bless this university community over which he will exercise leadership. Let the effect of your blessing remain here in days to come, so that your people will receive new life and strength of spirit, so that the power of your love acting in them may enable them to accomplish what is right and good.
Bless us with the gift of peace in our time and bring us all into the peace of your kingdom where all honor and glory are yours, Lord God, forever and ever.
Welcome, Father Lannon!
On behalf of Governor Heineman, welcome back to the great state of Nebraska! Since you have been here before, you are aware of our long-standing “blue and red” issues. They have been in our state for quite some time and are especially noticeable when on campus here at Creighton. Of course, I am talking about sports!
Creighton and the State of Nebraska have been good partners throughout the years and will remain so in the future. We share a passion for our fellow citizens and a desire to attain excellence. In essence, we share the same enduring Spirit to provide for those we serve.
Nebraskans are concerned about our neighbors in the Heartland as well as our neighbors globally. We strive to give our citizens the Good Life, as evidenced by having the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation and by making our mark on national lists as one of the best places to live and raise a family.
Similarly, Creighton cares about people here and in other parts of the world, no matter how small the community or country. Creighton has a record of academic excellence and as a proud alumna, I have enjoyed watching the continual recognition of that fact.
When I was thinking about what I might say today, I wondered, ‘What do you say to a university president, to welcome him aboard?’ And then my 10-year-old cousin saw a draft of my comments and asked what I was working on.
I explained to him that it was a welcome for the new president of Creighton University. I asked him what he might say to the new president, if he were in my place.
He thought about it and said, “Well, I would say ‘Welcome to Nebraska. It’s pretty cool here. The people are nice, the winters can be a drag, but spring is beautiful. It’s gonna be a big job but you can do it. Just don’t forget to laugh when you’re having a bad day, and remember to keep the place in good shape, ‘cuz I think I wanna’ go there someday.’”
So, Father Lannon, out of the mouth of a child, I wish you many days of laughter. You will need them among the challenging ones, no doubt, and I guess in my cousin’s eyes it is also about keeping the place in good shape.
Creighton is a phenomenal University with a great reputation and a true historical presence. We are proud that Creighton is part of the Nebraska landscape and we enthusiastically welcome you as its 24th president.
What a great day it is!
Welcome back to Omaha, Father Lannon! Our city, as well as Creighton University, is very fortunate to have you back.
Since its founding, Creighton and Omaha have forged a unique partnership. Omaha is what it is today in large part because of Creighton University and the vision and devotion of the men and women it produces.
I know that Father Lannon, as a graduate of Creighton, understands and embraces the University’s principles as defined by St. Ignatius of Loyola- “Change the World in Christ’s Image. Study Humankind. Transform yourself and the community. Seek truth in all you do. Go forth and set the world on fire.”
Omaha is fortunate to have a University that produces so many bright men and women of conscience who strive to achieve these principles and foster the spirit of community on a daily basis.
Omaha is a city on the move. Our job market is growing and diversifying as new technologies redefine the local economic landscape.
As Omaha continues to grow and move forward, we are becoming more reliant on the visions of bright, young, ethical professionals, and we are fortunate to have a University that produces such quality individuals.
As Creighton University and our city enter a new chapter in our partnership, I would like to offer you, Father Lannon, my charge to continue to produce bright, conscientious, community-minded graduates, who seek to improve our city and our world.
On behalf of Saint Xavier University of Chicago, the 16 Mercy colleges and universities, and other Catholic institutions of higher education, Welcome Father Lannon.
I am privileged to offer these greetings at this moment in time that joins a man whose vision long ago captured my intellect – with an institution whose people long ago captured my heart.
As an institution whose identity is Jesuit, we expect Creighton to be a place for thought leaders – where scholars can gather to challenge the norm; where scientists can gather to challenge what is past; where students can gather to challenge what is just. And all are free to challenge those who declare that truth exists only in what has been and leaves no room for what may be.
As an institution whose identity is Catholic, we expect Creighton to be a place where the Church does its best thinking – where theologians continue to explore the meaning of truth – but their theories and ideas are contextualized by a people of faith, unlike the marketplace of ideas, where they are not.
As an institution whose identity is both Catholic and Jesuit – of greater complexity than any other – with disciplines in Arts and Sciences, Business, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Health Professions – we expect Creighton to be a place where students will best understand that learning must encounter human suffering: that learning about human success must involve learning about human pain; that learning about conquerors must involve learning about the conquered; that learning about rule makers must involve learning about the exploited; that learning about leaders and their ideas must involve learning about the marginalized and the poor.
For this is the obligation of mercy – and it will ever be necessary for students who must respond creatively to a world in need of healing; just as it will ever be necessary to a world that must respond with the hopefulness described by American writer Flannery O’Connor, who characterized Jesus as one who “looked at this world, and saw it as a place worth dying for.”
And finally – as an institution whose reach is global – we expect you never to forget that Creighton is an institution that was FUNDED by the fortunes of two men – but FOUNDED by the generosity of two women; that in this place, it is one thing to educate women and men of all races and ethnicities to lead each other, but another to afford them the opportunity.
Father Tim Lannon – Man of Faith, Man of Intellect, Man of Courage, Man of Vision. These are your challenges – great challenges in these difficult times. But we who are here with you this day offer our support.
And to that pledge, let us all say, AMEN.
Archbishop Lucas, Fr. Lawler, Fr. Lannon, Members of the Board of Directors, Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni and Honored Guests.
On behalf of the faculty of Creighton University, I extend to you, Fr. Lannon, as our twenty-fourth President, a warm welcome on this day of celebration.
As an alumnus of Creighton and a Jesuit, you have returned to your alma mater as the leader of a distinguished learning community. The faculty recognizes your commitment to both Creighton and its mission.
In welcoming you on behalf of the faculty, I ask for your strong and collegial partnership with the faculty of the University as we mutually face the challenges to higher education.
The years ahead will require a high level of cooperation between faculty and administrators to maintain excellence in teaching, solidity in research, quality in clinics and distinction in service.
The faculty at Creighton is talented, energetic and dedicated to achieving Creighton's mission.
We ask you to engage this faculty fully in the life and decision-making of this University that is without peer in the diversity of its offerings in comparison with its size.
With the faculty fully engaged in forging the destiny of the University, we can seize the moment together and move Creighton forward toward new levels of achievement.
With hope in the future, we ask God’s blessing on you and on our mutual endeavor.
Father Lannon, it is my distinct honor as well as a privilege to welcome you as the 24th Father of our Creighton family. It is with open arms, best wishes, and great hope for the future that we embark on this day. Creighton students participating in today’s procession represent 23 states and six continents.
We are delighted that your life journey has brought you home to your alma mater. I also find it personally inspiring that as a Creighton student, you held the office of President of the Student Board of Governors, known today as the Creighton Students Union.
Father Lannon, today you are charged with leading the family that Edward, Sarah, John and Mary Creighton began in 1878, and with maintaining a tradition of academic excellence and service that makes Creighton a pillar in the community.
I challenge you to educate Creighton students on how to think, not what to think, so that we can enter the wider world as people of conscience and confidence.
And I challenge you to maintain an on-going dialogue with the students of Creighton, as we have made a significant investment in our Creighton education and have placed great trust in this institution.
We are always willing to be your 7,700-member “focus group,” and always willing to share our experiences and ideas, even as we seek your wise counsel.
Father, we wish you continued success in your life journey as we embrace the future together with all members of the Creighton family.
Father Lannon, on the day of your graduation from Creighton in 1973, you received the Spirit of Creighton Award for personifying so many of the qualities and values that we at Creighton hold dear. We often refer to these values as academic excellence, unwavering faith, compassionate care and service to others.
These are magnificent qualities for a leader to possess; yet, those who are blessed enough to embody them often share them with the world in remarkably humble ways, such as:
• a cheerful countenance and a quick smile for all, regardless of rank or position;
• a thoughtful disposition that naturally gravitates to collaboration and discussion, ever open to learning, as well as to the teachable moment; and
• a groundedness in one’s faith from which strength of character, clarity of purpose and a willingness to lead spring forth, even in the face of great challenge.
Father Lannon, the 3,434 staff members of Creighton University give you our resounding endorsement and charge you to be yourself, so that we may follow your fine example and work together as a community of one, for the ultimate success of Creighton and that of the students who depend on us.
We ask that you let the Spirit of Creighton and the Spirit of God shine through you daily, so that we might share in your contagious energy, your resiliency and boldness, your desire to do a great job, your legendary good humor, and your great love for Creighton University.
Father Lannon, on behalf of the National Alumni Board and the 60,000 alumni of Creighton University, it is my pleasure to welcome you back home to Omaha.
Alumni have been called Creighton’s “hand in the world.” Through lives and careers as diverse as the University itself, the Creighton experience touches the world through the good work and service of its alumni, who reside in all 50 states and 89 countries.
We welcome you proudly, Father Lannon, as the first alumnus to lead this great university. Our charge to you is to strengthen the ties that bind us, as we work together to live out the Jesuit mission that we embraced as students.
The mission of the Alumni Association is to foster a life-long relationship between the University and her alumni that is mutually beneficial.
We invite you, Father Lannon, to support and encourage the National Alumni Board to find even more meaningful ways to keep the Creighton Spirit alive in alumni, so that we can continue to approach our personal and professional lives with the fervor we felt at Commencement, and reach for our dreams with the hope we had in our hearts on that day.
With your help, we will appreciate more deeply how important Creighton University is in our lives and how important our roles are, as Creighton’s hand in the world.
Welcome, Father Lannon. On behalf of the Creighton University Medical Center, I welcome you as the 24th President of Creighton University.
As you know, Creighton and Creighton University Medical Center are nationally renowned for health care. We have a rich history of patient care, teaching and research that dates back to the mid 1800s. Today we provide Level 1 trauma care and a host of specialized services to patients from Omaha and surrounding areas.
As one of the region’s premier academic medical centers, our quality scores continue to surpass state and national averages and we have built a culture of compassionate care. We continue to make investments in technology and hospital advancements to meet the needs of our patients and stay in the forefront of new technology.
Through our doors walk health care professionals of today and tomorrow. Patients come to Creighton University Medical Center from across the country and outside of the United States to seek specialized care. Residents come to Creighton to learn from the best of the best in their chosen specialties.
As you begin your presidency, I charge you to continue to strengthen our relationship and build upon our many strengths and reputation for high quality, compassionate health care.
Father Lannon, congratulations on your new position as President of Creighton University.
I first met Fr. Lannon when I was 15 years old and a student at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. “Mr.” Lannon was a young Jesuit in training and a teacher there.
About ten years later, after I had joined the Jesuits, I was sent to a Jesuit high school in Omaha to teach – Creighton Prep. Guess who was the young president there?
Father Lannon has been a tremendous role model and mentor for me through the years; I am very grateful for the ways he taught me about values such as hard work, integrity, the importance of loyal friendships, and how to keep smiling when things get tough!
Thank you, Tim, for your friendship, service, and good example over the years. I am proud to serve with you in the Society of Jesus.
As your Provincial Superior, and on behalf of the Society of Jesus who proudly sponsors this institution of higher learning, I am happy to send you on this mission, and entrust to you the ministry of leadership as the 24th President of Creighton University, “a Jesuit, comprehensive Catholic University” within the Archdiocese of Omaha. I ask you, therefore, to work in close collaboration with the Archdiocese and with the Board of Directors for the good of all and glory of God.
We ask you to work diligently to promote the mission of Creighton University, “the pursuit of truth in all its forms, guided by the living tradition of the Catholic Church… according to the tradition of the Society of Jesus.”
May the Holy Spirit guide you with gifts for leadership, vision and service. Through the intercession of great Jesuits who have preceded you - Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Robert Bellarmine, Peter Canisius, Aloysius Gonzaga, Jacques Marquette, Ignacio Ellacuria, Pedro Arrupe and others – may you be strengthened with wisdom, courage, joy, discerning love, prudence, zeal for the Gospel, and with special concern for those who are most in need.
May the Good Lord bless you in your service as President of Creighton University.
Father Lannon, the Board of Directors of Creighton University has elected you president of this institution, which is sponsored by the Society of Jesus.
Yours will be the great privilege and responsibility of leading the men and women who teach, study and work here, in the search for God’s gift of wisdom.
You will be responsible for teaching as Jesus did and for handing on to others that faith in God upon which Creighton University rests.
You are charged to use all the resources available to this institution, so that through your appointment, you will serve all those on this campus as well as citizens of this city, this state, this nation, and all others who will be touched by Creighton’s influence.
Father Lannon, are you willing to accept this responsibility?
And now, by virtue of the authority of the Board of Directors, I commit to your care the Charter of the University.
Dean Jensen will now place over your shoulders the presidential chain, the symbol of the high office which you now hold.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome you as the 24th president of Creighton University.
I assure you of our confidence in you and pledge our support to you, as you lead our University to the fulfillment of its great promise for years to come.
God, Great Spirit among and within us, we are grateful for Creighton University, for its faculty, staff, students and administration, for its central place in the landscape of higher education in Omaha, and for the effects of its great work in our region, our country, and our world.
Particularly today, we are thankful for and celebrate the willingness of Fr. Tim Lannon to assume the leadership of Creighton.
We bless Fr. Lannon, believing that his leadership will be respectful of the meaning of the word “Omaha” …that is, going against the current”…
We hope that he will go against the current winds of ideology that separate people … and that he will move forward as a listener, and as a collaborator…
We hope that he will go against the current wind of despair about our world … and that he will embrace hope and possibility…
We hope that he will go against the current of doubt … and that he will embrace the confidence of the community who called him forth …
We hope that he will go against the current wind of putting tight boundaries on the truth … and that he will be open to new discoveries and insight.
Finally, we hope that he will go against the current of anything which detracts from a world where, you, our God, our Creator, our source of energy might be most at home.
Blessings, Fr. Lannon!