Message from the President: Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

In May, we awarded nearly 1,900 diplomas during two commencement ceremonies. I was proud to welcome Kyle Korver, BA’03, back to campus as our commencement speaker, celebrate several distinguished honorees, and welcome an outstanding class into our alumni ranks. I felt a special kinship with this year’s graduates, as four years ago, on Aug. 25, 2015, we began the academic year together in my first year as Creighton’s president.

Now, I am eager to welcome the Class of 2023 to campus. While final numbers may fluctuate, we anticipate another large and talented freshman class — with as many as 1,060 to 1,070 students. That would represent our third- or fourth-largest class in history, only behind our previous two record years in 2017 and 2018. A quarter scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, nearly 60% had a high school GPA of 3.8 or higher, and 80% were involved in service in high school.

Our second cohort of the Creighton Global Scholars program begins its first semester of studies at the University of Sydney this fall. The Global Scholars, in connection with our Global Engagement Office, will bring 2018 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nadia Murad to campus for a Sept. 16 talk, as part of a yearlong theme on genocide and pursuing justice in the world.

Our summer immersion programs had students learning and serving in 12 countries through Faculty-Led Programs Abroad (FLPA); working on water quality and summer health programs in the Dominican Republic through the Institute for Latin American Concern; and gaining a deeper understanding of global health disparities through international trips coordinated by medical students in Project CURA.

On Sept. 25, we will join government officials and dignitaries in Arizona for the groundbreaking of our new health sciences campus in Phoenix. In May, the trustees of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awarded Creighton a $10 million grant to support construction of a health sciences building in midtown Phoenix. The campus is set to open in 2021.

Locally, I continue to meet with organizations and leaders, along with members of the Presidential Committee on Community Engagement, to engage in community dialogue and relationship-building. Groups we have met with include the Empowerment Network, National Black Catholic Congress, St. Benedict’s Parish Council, and the Omaha Community Council for Racial Justice and Reconciliation, to name a few.

The Presidential Lecture Series will continue this fall as we welcome former U.S. senator, Nebraska governor, and university president Bob Kerrey, HON’93, to campus for an Oct. 22 address. We will also celebrate our inaugural Mission Week this fall with a series of events, including a Sept. 9 keynote address by the Rev. Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries and author of Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir.

With increased enrollment in our Heider College of Business, we began renovations to the Harper Center this summer to provide more classroom and learning space. We also welcomed two new deans. Joshua Fershee, JD, joins us as dean of the School of Law, and Evan Robinson, PhD, as dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. Finally, I would like to congratulate nursing professor Amanda Kirkpatrick, PhD, BSN’05, who was selected nationally as one of five Macy Faculty Scholars.

There, indeed, is exciting momentum as we enter another academic year at Creighton University. Thank you for your continued support as we move purposefully forward toward our bold tomorrow.

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD