Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  October 2020  >  October 2, 2020  >  Fr. Hendrickson covers a range of topics in first Town Hall of the academic year
Fr. Hendrickson covers a range of topics in first Town Hall of the academic year

Town HallFaculty and staff viewing Wednesday’s virtual campus town hall learned many reasons for hope and optimism, along with sobering realities, and witnessed the announcement of this year’s second annual Kingfisher Award recipient. In his first Presidential Town Hall of the new academic year, the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, gave data to support his statement that “enrollments are strong,” including:

  • The overall campus enrollment total of 8,770 is Creighton’s third largest, and only 1.5% less than 2018’s record-setting enrollment.
  • More than 1,000 freshmen enrolled for the seventh consecutive year, and the class academic profile continues to rival that of previous years.
  • Retention of students from freshman to sophomore year was record-setting, with a 92% return rate. Sophomore to junior retention was also record-setting, at 87%.
  • The School of Law recorded its highest number of first-year students since 2013, surpassing its target of 115 with 133.
  • Graduate enrollment was also up, with 350 new students.

Fr. Hendrickson said the enrollment successes are especially notable given “this unstable, unpredictable time of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it, economic, political, and social confusion.”

He said this especially speaks to the fact that “young people and their families want to be on this campus – in our classrooms and residence halls, and close to the faculty and staff,” showing that they trust “the care, concern, and guidance of this campus.”

In speaking specifically about Creighton’s response to the pandemic, Fr. Hendrickson announced that the Creighton United in Relief and Assistance (CURA) employee fund, created to assist employees who were unable to work due to the pandemic and the closure of campus, raised more than $150,000.

“To date, 47 awards have been made with an average of nearly $1,200, and additional funds remain available should employees need further assistance,” he said, adding, “In this time of need and financial hardship, I am reassured to see our community stepping up to help one another.”

He thanked all those who have planned and executed Creighton’s multifaceted response to the pandemic, shared information on the distribution of federal coronavirus relief funds, gave the latest infection rates and isolation and quarantine numbers, and discussed plans for the weeks and months ahead.

The president expressed his gratitude to Provost Tom Murray, PhD, for his many contributions to Creighton’s success, and viewers heard directly from Murray on his last official day, as well as Creighton’s new provost, Mardell Wilson, EdD, who started Oct. 1.

Other topics included the University’s information technology strategies, including countering cybersecurity threats; updates on cost savings, organizational assessments and branding; outgoing deans and new Jesuits; global education, sustainability, risk management, and diversity and inclusion updates; student mental health; campus improvements; the latest college rankings; and more.

A highlight of the event was revealing this year’s recipient of the Kingfisher Award, Sade Kosoko-Lasaki, MD, MSPH, MBA’05, associate vice provost for Health Sciences.

For 20 years, Kosoko-Lasaki, a professor at the School of Medicine and an ophthalmologist, has led minority outreach programs through the Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs (HS-MACA) office. HS-MACA’s mission is to improve health outcomes in minority communities while introducing thousands of young people to Creighton through educational pipelines that begin in elementary school.

Read more about Kosoko-Lasaki, and the award given in partnership with the University’s Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions, and view Fr. Hendrickson’s entire town hall presentation.


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