Dec. 20, 2016

Dec. 20, 2016: Christmas Greetings and Next Semester

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

Now that we are past finals week, and prior to everyone leaving for the Christmas and New Year’s break, I want to update you on a few items of interest as we prepare for the next semester. 

First, I am sure that most of you saw the message from Fr. Alexander regarding the sudden death of Dr. Eileen Burke-Sullivan’s husband, Michael, on Sunday. In her role as vice provost for Mission and Ministry, Eileen often consoles faculty, staff, students, and friends of the University when they lose loved ones. Now, let us lift up our prayers of support for Eileen and her family during this difficult time. 

Visitation begins Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in St. John’s Church with a wake service at 7:30 p.m. The funeral Mass will be held at St. John’s on Thursday at 1 p.m. 

The past year provided many opportunities for citizens across the country, as well as members of the Creighton community, to discuss important topics of national interest, including race relations and national elections. Indeed, more than 400 people attended the Presidential Panel on Race Relations that we hosted on campus in October. 

The topic of race and our constant focus on justice and equality for every person will be highlighted during activities occurring next month as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Numerous campus events are planned the week of Jan. 14-19, and a complete listing can be found at www.creighton.edu/mlk

Among the numerous programs under development for the spring semester, the following events are confirmed:

  • “Dear World Live” will occur on Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom. This is an interactive, award-winning program that explores the subtle and powerful connections among students, faculty, and staff on college campuses, as well as impoverished countries suffering from war and other devastating conditions.
  • Dr. Fred Pestello, president of Saint Louis University, will deliver the 23rd annual Markoe-DePorres Social Justice Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Harper Center Auditorium. His topic is “Racial Strife and the Jesuit University: A Sociologist’s and a President’s Perspective.” The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Additional information will be announced in January regarding these and other events.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the nomination process for the 2017 Creighton Global Initiative Committee, which has been formed and will begin its work in the spring semester. For a complete list of committee members and additional information regarding the next cycle of CGI funding, please see the Global Engagement Office website.

The search for the next vice president for University Relations continues, and I remain confident that we will bring the process to a successful conclusion in early 2017.

I would like to thank Jeremy Bouman for serving as interim vice president since November. Jeremy recently informed me that he is leaving the University in mid-January to serve as the Nebraska executive director for Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship, employment, and character development training program for currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth. This is a career change for Jeremy that he has been considering for some time, and I wish him all the best moving forward. 

I have asked Steve Scholer, senior philanthropic advisor, to serve as the interim vice president and Cortney Bauer to become interim executive director of Development, which was Jeremy’s previous role at the University.

Finally, and in the spirit of the season, I am pleased to share a wonderful Christmas video featuring several talented groups of Creighton students singing Little Drummer Boy, which was produced by University Communications and Marketing. You can view the video below:

Please enjoy the upcoming break and the much-deserved time away with family and friends. 

In Christ,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ