May 8, 2019
This is a busy and special time on campus as our students wrap up their final exams, pack up their residence hall rooms, say goodbye to classmates and friends, and head for points across the nation and around the world for summer break. In fact, nearly 270 students will participate in our distinctive and enriching Faculty-Led Programs Abroad (FLPA). Many will embrace service pursuits and research projects, and those becoming our newest alumni will launch careers or seek higher academic degrees and credentials.
I am looking forward with great anticipation to seeing our graduates and their families at upcoming graduation events, including the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 17, and our two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18. See a complete list of activities.
Indeed, I feel a special connection to this graduating class, as four years ago, on Aug. 25, 2015, we began the academic year together. It was my first year being president of Creighton, just as it was their first year of being students at Creighton.
We have experienced much over those four years – encouraging and supporting one another in times of celebration, sadness, consolation, and renewal – through myriad unfolding events globally, nationally, locally, and on campus.
I am inspired by their journey, and hopeful for their future.
During this academic year, we celebrated the 140th anniversary of the University’s founding with several significant events, including an evening with two former secretaries of state, Dr. Madeleine Albright and Gen. Colin Powell.
We also shared in many accomplishments and milestones.
In the fall, we set a record for total enrollment while, for the second straight year, welcoming the largest freshman class in our history. The Class of 2022 also included our first cohort of Creighton Global Scholars, with 23 students beginning their first semester of studies at the University of Sydney.
In September, we celebrated the ribbon-cutting for our new state-of-the-art School of Dentistry building. That same month, we joined our health care partners in Arizona to announce construction of a new Creighton health sciences campus in midtown Phoenix, scheduled to open in 2021, while in December we honored our inaugural class of nursing graduates in Phoenix.
U.S. News & World Report recognized us for the 16th consecutive year as No. 1 in the Midwest, in its 2019 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings, and more recently we were pleased to learn that the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education has elevated us to national distinction with inclusion in its new Doctoral/Professional Universities category.
We continue to celebrate the inaugural year of our new Kingfisher Institute, with programming this academic year focused on narratives in health and illness and race in America; we announced the newly established Presidential Committee on Community Engagement; and we have made great progress on strategic plan initiatives.
Among many student accolades, three of our students were recently honored as Goldwater Scholars and two were recognized as Fulbright Scholars. Over the last decade, Creighton has produced more Goldwater Scholars than any other Catholic university and ranks among the top 25 private universities producing such scholars – joining ranks with Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT.
Recently I joined others in speaking to a reporter about the upcoming renovation of the Harper Center, and I am hopeful that local media will showcase this as one of our many areas of innovation and vision. In the near future, renderings of the project will be available for your viewing.
Thank you for your part in making the 2018-2019 academic year such a resounding success for Creighton University. There is a sense of great momentum and excitement for the future. I look forward to celebrating these last few days of the academic year with you, and wish you all the best for a safe and fruitful summer.
Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD