August 22, 2018

August 22, 2018

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

I hope you had a wonderful summer and were able to take a well-deserved break to relax and enjoy some time away prior to the start of a very busy fall semester that officially commences today.

As we welcome students back to campus, including the largest freshman class in our history, I have a few updates to share, including Creighton 140 activities and speakers, Reunion Weekend plans, our new efforts with the Carnegie Foundation, and the fine work of several University divisions.

On Sunday, Sept. 2, we celebrate Creighton’s 140th anniversary, and, as I mentioned in a message earlier this month, we will take time to recognize the history, mission, and many blessings of the University at all Masses that day at St. John’s Church. Later in the week, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, I invite all faculty, staff, and students to celebrate the anniversary and enjoy ice cream and cookies on the mall near the Skutt Student Center from 1:30-3:30 p.m. 

On Thursday, Sept. 13, we will welcome Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez as the first guest speaker of the semester as part of the Creighton 140 Presidential Lecture Series, and in conjunction with the Creighton Global Initiative. Among Ms. Alvarez’s most famous novels are How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. She will speak beginning at 7 p.m. in the Harper Center’s Hixson-Lied Auditorium.

The next month, on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ryan Center, former secretaries of state Dr. Madeleine Albright and Gen. Colin Powell will be on campus for what is sure to be a very informative discussion regarding national and global issues and their careers as diplomats, which will be moderated by CNN anchor and reporter Suzanne Malveaux. Free tickets for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents are now available. Tickets for the general public will be available Sept. 2, 2018.  

We will open ticketing to the general public on Sept. 2, so please act soon. There will be restrictions on what you can bring into the venue, and I encourage you to review the information on the Creighton 140 website.

Between those two public speaking events, we will celebrate Reunion Weekend from Thursday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 16. I invite you to join alumni, parents, and friends for all of the reunion activities. We are proud to have a weekend that focuses not only on our alumni but their families as well. 

Whether it be the Memorial Mass for former Creighton President the Rev. Michael G. Morrison, SJ, the Hilltop Jam on Venteicher Mall, or the women’s and men’s soccer games on Friday and Saturday, I hope to see you on campus.
I am pleased to announce that Creighton has begun efforts to apply for the Carnegie Foundation Classification for Community Engagement. This undertaking will engage stakeholders across campus and will involve data collection and documentation of important aspects of our institutional mission, identity, and commitments. The application will be submitted in April 2019.  

The Classification for Community Engagement is not an award; rather, it is an evidence-based documentation of institutional practice to be used in a process of self-assessment and quality improvement. This documentation will be reviewed to determine whether we are qualified for recognition as a community-engaged institution. I will provide additional information about the work in future updates. 

As I referenced earlier, the freshman class will be the largest in the history of the University, and the applicant pool for the class of 2022 was very close to a previous record number. 

I would like to thank everyone in Enrollment Management for their efforts with recruiting the outstanding class that comes to us from 41 states and 12 countries, as well as Student Life for managing all the aspects of assimilating the young women and men. Many others also play a significant role with recruiting or welcoming the class, including faculty and staff in the academic units. The personal attention our students receive is another distinctive difference that a Creighton education offers. 

Accolades also go to University Communications and Marketing (UCOM) following significant recognition this summer regarding the recent cover-to-cover redesign of the Creighton University magazine

The University Creative Design Association has chosen our magazine as one of the best in the nation as part of a competition that included more than 1,000 entries. Of that total, only 12 were selected to receive a prestigious silver award from the national organization. The updated look and wonderful new content has also not gone unnoticed by our alumni, who regularly mention the magazine to me.

Also, from UCOM, I have asked Jim Berscheidt, chief communications and marketing officer, to join the President’s Cabinet effective today. Jim often attends cabinet meetings due to his responsibilities, including as a member of the Critical Incident Response Team, and I welcome his regular participation in discussions with other senior leaders. 

Today, I am engaging members of strategic planning goal teams in discussions regarding the status of implementation. Many goals are already making good progress, and I will share additional information with you at a Town Hall on Sept. 25 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Harper Center’s Hixson-Lied Auditorium. 

As is evident, this is going to be a busy semester, and I am looking forward to participating in many of the activities I referenced above, as well as seeing you at some of the many other events that will occur between now and December. 

Finally, our annual video review of the previous academic year was completed this week and is ready for you to enjoy. Please visit this link to view the 2017-2018 Year in Review.


Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ