President's Message

Expanding Our Horizons

In September, we celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Creighton University Health Sciences – Phoenix Campus.

A wonderful complement to our outstanding health sciences programs in Omaha, this campus, scheduled to open in fall 2021, will eventually serve as an educational hub for nearly 900 Creighton health professions students in Phoenix. Nearly 200 students are currently engaged in our established nursing and medical programs in the city.

National data shows a critical shortage of health care professionals in the Southwest, and in Arizona and Phoenix, particularly.

It is our hope and belief that a new generation of Creighton health professionals — educated in both Omaha and Phoenix — will help address this increasing demand, and do so in Creighton’s Jesuit, Catholic tradition of excellence in academics, clinical care, and service.

I join with our Phoenix health care partners, community and government leaders, and organizations and individuals who offer their philanthropic support in expressing my excitement for this new campus and its possibilities.

Closer to home, I am also pleased that our enrollment numbers remain robust, in light of an increasingly competitive national enrollment environment. We welcomed the third-largest freshman class this fall, with 1,076 students, to record our second-largest total enrollment of 8,821. Of note, our new physician assistant program is well subscribed, with 24 students.

This fall, we also hosted our inaugural Mission Week on campus. The celebration — titled “Imagine Our Magis” — provided an ideal opportunity to reflect upon our Jesuit, Catholic mission, and how each of us can participate in it.

I was delighted to welcome the Rev. Greg Boyle, SJ, HON’09, founder of Homeboy Industries and author of Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir, to talk about his work with gang members in Los Angeles and the importance of standing with those on society’s margins.

His keynote address was one of several significant lectures on campus this fall.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nadia Murad spoke on the plight of Iraq’s Yazidi minority as the inaugural Creighton Global Scholars Lecture Series speaker; Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Blight, PhD, shared insights from his new biography on Frederick Douglass at an event co-sponsored by our Kingfisher Institute; and Bob Kerrey, HON’93, a former U.S. senator, Nebraska governor, and university president, engaged a range of topics as the featured guest in our Presidential Lecture Series.

On Sept. 28, I stood in solidarity with campus colleagues, local government officials, community leaders, and a crowd of several hundred outside the Douglas County Courthouse in downtown Omaha, as we remembered the 100th anniversary of a mob lynching of a black man, Will Brown, at the site. The ceremony served as a powerful reminder of the evils of racial violence and its reality in our world, and an inspiration for racial dialogue, justice, and equality.

In closing, I wish you and your families a blessed holiday season, a merry Christmas, and a happy new year. May peace, love, and joy resound in our homes, our nation, and our world.

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD