Some fascinating tidbits regarding college news and Catholic connections have passed through the newswires lately. #ICYMI, here’s a recap:
- Three graduations in three days for triplet parents — It’s a reality John Marbach and Sherry Pressler are facing this weekend as their triplets — who are also turning 22 — are graduating from three universities in three states. Two of those universities are Jesuit schools. The Catholic Review shared the story.
- First graduating class — Higher Catholic education came to Mesa two years ago and its first graduating class is making its mark. Twelve students, a good Catholic number, will receive their diplomas in a private ceremony at Benedictine University in Mesa May 16.
Snow/sleet at a spring graduation — The local news reported it as snow and showed a light dusting on Northern Arizona University’s graduation day May 8. The Holy Trinity Newman Center chaplain tweeted a weather photo that day when it was sleeting.
- Highest honors from Catholic colleges — The current and former president of University of Mary already hold special titles and will receive separate honorary doctorate degrees May 16….
Sr. Thomas Welder, OSB, the longest tenure as female president at any American college or university at the time of her retirement in 2009, will receive an honorary doctorate from Belmont Abbey College. Enrollment at University of Mary — which was Mary College when she started — grew from 925 to nearly 3,000. She is also a past recipient of the prestigious Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the highest state award presented to individuals achieving national recognition.
Msgr. James Shea, current UMary president, is the nation’s youngest serving college president. He was 34 when he took office in 2009. Thomas More College is presenting him with an honorary doctorate this weekend. Dr. William Fahey, president of Thomas More College, said the Holy Spirit is “blowing mightily on the prairie and bluffs of North Dakota” and providing an example of Catholic education reform. His initiatives include a Year-Round Campus program that allows students to graduate in 2.6 years and earn a master’s degree in four years, a partnership with Catholic Health Initiatives that lets nursing majors receive their senior year free, a partnership with Arizona State University in Tempe and other visionary efforts.
- Convert climbs ranks — It’s been said that young adults can lose their faith during their college years. They can also find it. Both is the case for Dr. David Williams, who was announced this week as the next vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Belmont Abbey College. He was raised on a dairy farm as a Methodist, but received into the Catholic Church during his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University where he majored in government and minored in philosophy.