Our Gift to You

About the Cover

A cross section of the multitude of facets and disciplines that compose Creighton University — which stands to benefit from a $10 million gift from George Haddix, PhD, MA’66, and his wife, Susan, to the College of Arts and Sciences — is depicted in this illustration by Jasu Hu, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and elsewhere.

Our Gift to You

Christmas lights on a garland
Every Christmas Eve, I climb into the crawlspace and pull out the four-foot-tall lighted Santa, the foldable manger scene, the reindeer with the nose that glows and the small garland Christmas tree that my mom made with the kids years ago. I place these and other "heirlooms" around the living room as my wife finishes putting freshly wrapped presents under the tree. And then we turn off the living room lamps, plug in the Christmas lights and stand back. The glow washes over us. It renews our spirit. It's peaceful, comforting and inspiring. The scene is familiar, but somehow excitingly new - as the lights, time and personal experiences illuminate different perspectives.

I have similar feelings as we unwrap our newly redesigned Creighton magazine. It remains steeped in tradition, but with a fresh approach that we hope illuminates new, fresh angles on the Creighton experience that will surprise, excite and inspire you.

Unlike my Christmas shopping (which sometimes begins on Christmas Eve), we began preparing for this issue during the summer. In the ensuing months, we have been busily checking off to-dos and hustling to pull together compelling stories, artwork and photographs.

Along the way, Creighton received a gift of its own - a $10 million gift from George Haddix, PhD, MA'66, and his wife, Susan, that will build and enhance academic programming in the College of Arts and Sciences. We couldn't wait to unwrap some of the possibilities. In this issue, we share how previous initiatives established by the Haddixes are enhancing faculty research, getting ­students involved in scientific discovery, and providing scholarships to students from a local high school. We expect this new gift to build on that tradition and illuminate new opportunities for students and faculty.

As we prepare for the holidays, I'll admit that I have a sweet tooth for Christmas cookies. I have my favorite (the round pretzels filled with chocolate and topped with a peanut M&M, in case you're baking), but I like being surprised with a good sugar cookie or something more exotic.

Likewise, we have flavored this issue with a variety of tantalizing stories - minus the calories, of course. We dive into the changing state of democracy worldwide, and share the fascinating story of an alumna in Alaska who is pioneering a unique approach to occupational therapy (hint: it involves a trapeze). And there's more. How does one become an official saint? Read about Creighton's involvement in the canonization process for Boys Town founder the Rev. Edward Flanagan. Want to improve your managerial skills? Check out the minimalist manager story.

We also have developed new departments: Dialogue, By the Numbers, Jesuit Gardens and Lesson Plan, which allow us to share a variety of Creighton-related stories. We also invite you to share your stories, opinions and thoughts in our new Voices department. We look forward to the dialogue. Finally, we wrap it up with the news from you and your classmates. This tradition we are keeping. As always, we encourage you to send your news to alumni@creighton.edu.

With the holidays quickly approaching, we are, admittedly, a bit exhausted, but we also are eager to share this gift with you. As we stand back, we hope the light of Creighton University shines through and warms your heart, soul and imagination.

Rick Davis
Director of Communications

Thought-Provoking, Mission-Focused

Adam Klinker, Cindy Murphy McMahon, Emily Rust, communications specialist; Rick Davis, BA'88, director of communications; back, Jim Berscheidt, Glenn Antonucci, Sheila Swanson, Amanda Brandt

That not only reflects our goals and aspirations for Creighton magazine, it also describes the work of those responsible for bringing you each issue.

From left are, front, Adam Klinker, public relations manager; Cindy Murphy McMahon, BA'74, associate director of communications; Emily Rust, communications specialist; Rick Davis, BA'88, director of communications; back, Jim Berscheidt, chief communications and marketing officer; Glenn Antonucci, senior director of communications; Sheila Swanson, associate director of communications; and Amanda Brandt, BA'14, social media and content strategist