From the President
Dear Alumni and Friends,
As many of you know, between 1852 and 1854 our namesake Blessed John Henry Newman delivered a series of lectures that, along with some of Newman’s later writing, became The Idea of a University. Newman, who wrote the lectures in his role as the founding rector of the Catholic University in Dublin, believed a university education should encompass a wide range of disciplines, and teach its students not simply facts, but the ability to determine the meaning behind facts. Higher education, he said, should endeavor to enlarge students’ minds and ability to learn by helping them forge connections between ideas, produce methods of evaluation, form guiding principles, and develop the ability to not only receive ideas, but also act on them.
Those concepts are very much alive today at Newman University.
As you’ll read in this issue, we have just implemented a new approach to the way we prepare our students to transform society called the Newman Studies Program. Based on Newman’s Idea, this multidisciplinary program creates a new way to prepare and deliver the “Core Curriculum” required of all Newman students.
Newman’s Idea also emphasized the nurturing that should occur outside the classroom. He wrote that students are open to “the influence of kindness and personal attachment,” and are better managed “by indirect contrivances rather than by authoritative enactments.” Newman added that it is a university’s duty and privilege “to conduct them to the arms of a kind Mother, an Alma Mater, who inspires affection while she whispers truth; who enlists imagination, taste and ambition on the side of duty; who seeks to impress hearts with noble and heavenly maxims at the age when they are most suceptible.” These sentiments have always been central to this institution, and are integral to the Newman University experience.
Newman’s The Idea of a University is reflected in many other activities and developments on our campus. The university is bringing a theatre program back, producing better methods to assess student learning, forming new partnerships with other educational institutions, and making a focused effort to refine and celebrate our Catholic identity.
I invite you to learn more about these activities, and to visit our campus and see for yourself how we’re putting Newman’s Idea in action. Today more than ever, we are synthesizing elements of faith and reason in the search for truth; blending the instruction of practical and professional skills with pursuits of the intellect and the arts; cherishing our past and preparing for the future, and providing the best of modern thought and technology within a framework of traditional ethics, moral values, and caring for our students.
I think the result will be an educational experience that is distinctive and unique – a true “Newman experience” that students just can’t get anywhere else.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support.
Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.