Message from the President: Reflecting with Gratitude

Reflecting with Gratitude

In a wonderful holiday tradition, an excited crowd of students, faculty, and staff once again gathered around the steps of St. John’s Church recently to celebrate Christmas at Creighton and delight in the annual lighting of the campus mall.

This time of year is often filled with much activity, particularly here on campus as our students busily prepare for final exams, finish projects and papers, and make plans for the upcoming break.

At the same time, this season invites us to deeper reflection, and offers an opportunity to pause and give thanks for our many gifts. Indeed, at Creighton, we have much for which to be grateful.

This fall, we set a record for total enrollment (8,910), while welcoming the largest freshman class (1,155) in our University’s history. The Class of 2022 included our first cohort of Creighton Global Scholars, with 23 students beginning their first semester of studies at the University of Sydney.

We also welcomed the AJCU International Education Conference to campus this fall — recognizing Gabriel Pérez Alcalá, PhD, a visionary educational leader and the current and inaugural rector (chief academic officer) of Universidad Loyola Andalucía, a Jesuit university founded in 2010 in Spain, with an Honorary Alumnus Award.

Our Creighton 140 Presidential Lecture Series celebrated our 140th anniversary. Following a spring address by Chuck Hagel, former U.S. senator and secretary of defense, we hosted Dominican-American writer and author Julia Alvarez in September and former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell in October. These esteemed national speakers offered insightful and thoughtful discussion.  

In September, we joined our health care partners in Arizona to announce construction of a new Creighton health sciences campus in midtown Phoenix, with a new approximately 200,000-square-foot facility scheduled to open in 2021.

While we remain committed to enhancing our excellent health sciences programs here in Omaha, with our partner CHI Health, I am excited about growing our programs in Phoenix and working to meet the increasing demand for health care professionals in that region.

Jacque Chadwick, MD, a family physician with a distinguished career in medical education, administration and advocacy, has been named the inaugural vice provost of our Arizona health sciences campus, and also serves as executive director of the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance.

We were pleased to once again be ranked No. 1 in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report, in its 2019 “America’s Best Colleges” edition. This marks the 16th consecutive year we have been so honored.

And, finally, in September, we celebrated the 
ribbon-cutting for our new School of Dentistry building — a state-of-the-art, high-tech facility that will allow us to educate more students and serve more patients.

Thank you for your continued support of Creighton University. Best wishes for a blessed Christmas, happy holidays, and wonderful new year.

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ