Skip to main content

Archive of Homilies & Reflections

A collection of homilies and reflections from Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS ’84, Ed.D., president of DeSales University.

Inaugural Address

by Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS ’84, Ed.D. Apr 4, 2018
DeSales University ushered in a new era on April 4 with the inauguration of Fr. Greenfield, OSFS ’84, Ed.D. as its fourth president.
0:00:11.349,0:00:16.779
Firstly, on behalf of the Board of
Trustees, faculty, administration,

0:00:16.779,0:00:21.789
and staff, welcome to the inauguration
ceremony of DeSales University's fourth

0:00:21.789,0:00:27.640
president, Reverend James J. Greenfield
OSFS. In keeping with the dignity of

0:00:27.640,0:00:32.470
this ceremony please silence your cell
phones and electronic devices. As many of

0:00:32.470,0:00:36.489
you know, St. Francis DeSales is the
patron saint of the Deaf and I want to

0:00:36.489,0:00:41.080
thank our sign language interpreters,
David and Pam Pehota who are here with

0:00:41.080,0:00:45.190
us this afternoon.
Also a special thank you to the brass

0:00:45.190,0:00:51.579
ensemble, Jeff Wohlbach, Don Hughes, Dan
Braden, Claire Socci, and L. Scott Force

0:00:51.579,0:00:56.850
under the direction of Mark Helms providing
the musical prelude to today's ceremony.

0:00:56.850,0:01:02.109
We appreciate your presence here today
on this momentous occasion. We will now

0:01:02.109,0:01:05.879
begin the inauguration ceremony.

0:01:18.850,0:01:26.140
The DeSales University color guard
organized by Nick Kanaskie.

0:02:34.260,0:02:39.290
The DeSales University student
representatives.

0:03:10.800,0:03:16.180
Bearing the mace of DeSales University,
Dr. Roger Berg, associate professor of

0:03:16.180,0:03:18.570
chemistry.

0:03:43.840,0:03:48.930
The DeSales University alumni
flag-bearers.

0:05:30.740,0:06:18.629
The DeSales University administrative,
professional, and support staff members.

0:06:21.650,0:06:49.279
The Oblates of St. Francis DeSales.

0:06:53.620,0:08:15.860
Presidents and delegates of other
institutions.

0:08:26.950,0:08:32.170
Members of the DeSales University
esteemed faculty.

0:10:29.890,0:10:34.029
The DeSales University vice
president, cabinet members, and the

0:10:34.029,0:11:09.220
inauguration committee members.

0:11:10.650,0:12:02.620
The Board of Trustees of DeSales
University.

0:12:06.470,0:12:10.460
The platform party.

0:12:48.930,0:12:53.730
Reverend Bernard F. O'Connor
president emeritus, third president of

0:12:53.730,0:14:05.860
DeSales University and Bishop Alfred A.
Schlert.

0:14:44.380,0:14:48.280
Ladies and gentlemen please stand.

0:14:49.690,0:14:55.790
Please welcome W. Douglas Brown Esquire,
chair of the Board of Trustees at

0:14:55.790,0:15:01.520
DeSales University, Reverend Kevin Nadolski,
OSFS, Assistant Provincial of the

0:15:01.520,0:15:08.180
Oblates of St. Francis DeSales and
Reverend James J. Greenfield OSFS, the

0:15:08.180,0:15:19.170
fourth president of DeSales University.

0:16:12.760,0:16:17.660
Please remain standing and join in the
singing of "God Bless America" performed

0:16:17.660,0:16:23.140
by the DeSales University chorale and
brass ensemble.

0:17:44.900,0:17:48.290
Please be seated.

0:17:53.150,0:17:57.750
The inauguration of a university
president offers an opportunity for

0:17:57.750,0:18:02.880
reflection as we see ourselves heirs to
the rich tradition of intellectual

0:18:02.880,0:18:07.110
endeavor reaching back centuries to the
great centers of learning in the old

0:18:07.110,0:18:10.679
world.
We welcome the presidents and delegates

0:18:10.679,0:18:16.110
from other colleges and universities who
join us today and we also welcome the

0:18:16.110,0:18:19.040
members of the DeSales University
student body,

0:18:19.040,0:18:27.870
DeSales University faculty, staff, Oblates
of St. Francis DeSales and clergy. We

0:18:27.870,0:18:34.980
offer a very special welcome to the
members of the Greenfield family and we

0:18:34.980,0:18:38.460
are honored to have the DeSales
University Board of Trustees who

0:18:38.460,0:18:46.290
represents the guiding force behind this
great institution. Finally, we are also

0:18:46.290,0:18:50.370
honored to host this distinguished
platform party whose members have come

0:18:50.370,0:18:54.809
today to bring greetings from the groups
they represent welcoming Father James

0:18:54.809,0:19:05.390
Greenfield OSFS as the fourth president
of DeSales University. Please stand.

0:19:06.850,0:19:13.640
It is my pleasure to introduce Miss
Karrington Hamilton, class of 2018, for

0:19:13.640,0:19:16.390
the Invocation.

0:19:22.530,0:19:31.169
Let us call to mind that we are in the
presence of God. In the name of the

0:19:31.169,0:19:39.090
Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit. Good and gracious God, we thank

0:19:39.090,0:19:43.260
you today for the gift of our lives
and during this octave of Easter the

0:19:43.260,0:19:49.590
gift of eternal life, won for us by Your
son. We celebrate humanity created in

0:19:49.590,0:19:55.650
Your own image with an intellect that
seeks knowledge and truth and a will

0:19:55.650,0:20:01.950
that desires beauty and love. We thank
you for the gift of this day and this

0:20:01.950,0:20:06.539
moment an opportunity to pray for our
university and for its new president,

0:20:06.539,0:20:14.850
Father James J. Greenfield. We pray that
the gospel of Christ, the teaching of the

0:20:14.850,0:20:19.200
church, the principles of Christian
humanism, and the insights of Salesian

0:20:19.200,0:20:25.140
spirituality, which guide this university
be realized in his stewardship. May he

0:20:25.140,0:20:29.970
witness to our shared belief that human
life is oriented to the good, true, and

0:20:29.970,0:20:37.020
beautiful and is complemented always and
everywhere by love. We pray that Your

0:20:37.020,0:20:40.980
Holy Spirit which has guided Father
Greenfield and DeSales University to this

0:20:40.980,0:20:46.200
present moment may continue to lead him
and strengthen him so that he may bloom

0:20:46.200,0:20:52.260
where he is planted on this day. Enable
him to conform his heart to yours O Lord

0:20:52.260,0:20:57.270
so that he may guide the faculty and
staff with gentle strength, engage our

0:20:57.270,0:21:02.370
alumni, and benefactors who so kindly and
generously support this University and

0:21:02.370,0:21:09.090
may he care for our students with a
compassionate humility. Almighty God you

0:21:09.090,0:21:14.429
made us to be one in Christ, United in
love and compassion aware that we are

0:21:14.429,0:21:18.809
brothers and sisters in Christ we joined
together this afternoon to pray our

0:21:18.809,0:21:25.890
blessing on Father Greenfield. May he be
who you created him to be and be that

0:21:25.890,0:21:31.370
well and so give glory and honor to you
our Master Craftsman.

0:21:31.370,0:21:35.960
We pray this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

0:21:39.269,0:21:43.740
Thank You Karrington. Please be seated.

0:21:50.490,0:21:55.620
I am pleased to welcome to the podium
Mrs. Denis Von Funk, class of 1980,

0:21:55.620,0:21:59.960
offering the welcome on behalf of the
Board of Trustees.

0:22:09.280,0:22:14.950
Good afternoon distinguished guests,
members of the Board of Trustees, esteemed

0:22:14.950,0:22:22.420
faculty, students, and alumni. On behalf of
DeSales University Board of Trustees, it

0:22:22.420,0:22:27.880
is my great honor to welcome you to this
wonderful and momentous occasion, the

0:22:27.880,0:22:33.070
inauguration of Father James Greenfield
as the fourth president of the DeSales

0:22:33.070,0:22:38.950
University and the
first alumni president. As a member of

0:22:38.950,0:22:43.930
the Presidential Search Committee it was
clearly evident that

0:22:43.930,0:22:50.110
Father Jim would bring a new energy and
perspective to DeSales. I found it

0:22:50.110,0:22:56.650
interesting that his comments to the
search committee, Father compared the

0:22:56.650,0:23:03.250
role of the president as being similar
to conducting an orchestra. He referenced

0:23:03.250,0:23:09.190
a book on leadership by Roger Nierenberg,
a veteran conductor, titled

0:23:09.190,0:23:16.290
"Maestro: A Surprising Story About
Leadership by Listening". A maestro

0:23:16.290,0:23:22.950
doesn't micromanage, but encourages
others to develop their own solutions,

0:23:22.950,0:23:28.660
understanding the difference between
conducting and trying to play all the

0:23:28.660,0:23:37.030
instruments. A maestro helps people feel
ownership of the whole piece, not

0:23:37.030,0:23:43.660
just their individual parts and a maestro
leads by listening. What a beautiful way

0:23:43.660,0:23:48.060
to state the qualities of a successful
leader:

0:23:48.060,0:23:55.240
listen, don't micromanage, and make people
feel engaged and part of a team. In the

0:23:55.240,0:24:00.790
relatively short time that Father
Greenfield has been on campus it is

0:24:00.790,0:24:05.710
evident his love of the University and
that he has a vision for its future.

0:24:05.710,0:24:12.640
I am confident the faculty, students,
administrators, and the board will in St.

0:24:12.640,0:24:18.850
Francis DeSales' words, "be who you are and
be it well" under Father Greenfield's

0:24:18.850,0:24:23.260
leadership. So, Father Greenfield, I look
forward to watching

0:24:23.260,0:24:33.480
you conduct the DeSales symphony. Thank
you, Denise.

0:24:45.990,0:24:51.080
It is my pleasure to call to the
podium, Reverend Peter M. Donohue, OSA,

0:24:51.080,0:24:56.850
president of Villanova University and
Nova Nation, representing Catholic

0:24:56.850,0:25:01.410
Colleges and Universities to extend his
salutation and greetings on behalf of

0:25:01.410,0:25:13.670
his colleagues to President Greenfield. I

0:25:13.670,0:25:19.730
promised Father Jim I wouldn't mention
anything that happened this weekend so.

0:25:20.540,0:25:28.710
In 1776, a body of individuals gathered
in a hall on a square in the colony of

0:25:28.710,0:25:34.140
Philadelphia that has become a
well-known national landmark. It was in

0:25:34.140,0:25:38.640
this hall where they penned a document
that called for independence from

0:25:38.640,0:25:44.090
another nation. A document that called
for freedom from tyranny and taxation. A

0:25:44.090,0:25:49.100
document that claimed the fundamental
rights and equality of all people. A

0:25:49.100,0:25:55.559
document that praised religious freedom.
It was this document that gave birth to

0:25:55.559,0:26:00.090
a nation and ushered in a philosophy
that has been the foundation of our

0:26:00.090,0:26:05.490
country, our city, and our neighborhoods.
It is called the people living in these

0:26:05.490,0:26:11.670
13 colonies to live with integrity to
work creatively to live ethically and to

0:26:11.670,0:26:18.900
engage in the free exchange of ideas.
In 1962, the Oblates of St. Francis

0:26:18.900,0:26:22.350
DeSales,
began efforts to create a university

0:26:22.350,0:26:29.190
that would teach young women and men to
live as Christians in a Salesian way. To

0:26:29.190,0:26:34.770
embrace one's life and bring the Gospel
message to the human family. From that

0:26:34.770,0:26:40.350
effort DeSales University has grown to
educate thousands of students in a

0:26:40.350,0:26:45.360
variety of disciplines preparing them to
engage in successful careers in the

0:26:45.360,0:26:51.500
global marketplace working to affect the
common good. As Pope Francis has stated,

0:26:51.500,0:26:56.820
future generations that are educated in
a Christian way for dialogue will come

0:26:56.820,0:27:01.710
out of the classroom motivated to
build bridges and, therefore, to find

0:27:01.710,0:27:07.830
answers to the many challenges of our
times. Your mission statement

0:27:07.830,0:27:13.710
echoes Francis's directive, as well as,
the principles of St. Francis DeSales to

0:27:13.710,0:27:18.780
create vital and respectful dialogue
between Roman Catholic faith and human

0:27:18.780,0:27:24.150
culture. It is a learning
community where integrity, creativity,

0:27:24.150,0:27:31.680
curiosity, ethics, responsibility, and the
free exchange of ideas are valued. Today

0:27:31.680,0:27:36.840
you inaugurate Father James Greenfield
as the fourth president to lead your

0:27:36.840,0:27:41.670
university into the future. A man who has
demonstrated those principles throughout

0:27:41.670,0:27:46.620
his life; who knows the challenges that
face higher education, who has

0:27:46.620,0:27:51.300
demonstrated fraternal and spiritual
leadership, and as you know has a

0:27:51.300,0:27:59.460
background in government, theology, and
psychology. Quite a combination. Father

0:27:59.460,0:28:04.650
Jim, today DeSales University calls you
to bring your experience, creativity,

0:28:04.650,0:28:10.230
knowledge, and spirituality to charge its
future. Jim on behalf of all the

0:28:10.230,0:28:16.050
presidents, your presidential colleagues,
in over 270 Catholic institutions of

0:28:16.050,0:28:21.960
higher education, we welcome you to this
unique ministry. We pledge our support

0:28:21.960,0:28:27.600
and our willingness to work together to
bring quality education to our varied

0:28:27.600,0:28:33.540
institutions and charisms. As you move
forward with this faculty, staff, and

0:28:33.540,0:28:39.240
students of DeSales University, continue
to find ways to empower them to build a

0:28:39.240,0:28:45.000
community that seeks equality and
independence. The works of St. Francis

0:28:45.000,0:28:49.350
DeSales, in the words of St.
Francis DeSales help them to be a

0:28:49.350,0:28:55.280
community that will bring honor to the
master craftsman whose handiwork we are.

0:28:55.280,0:29:02.900
Best wishes, congratulations,
and always God bless.

0:29:06.690,0:29:15.190
Thank you, Father Donohue. We will next
hear from Dr. Alison Byerly, president of

0:29:15.190,0:29:19.290
Lafayette College, representing the
Lehigh Valley Association of Independent

0:29:19.290,0:29:30.580
Colleges and Universities. Good afternoon,
it is a great pleasure and an honor to

0:29:30.580,0:29:34.840
welcome Father Jim Greenfield to our
Lehigh Valley Community. I'm extending

0:29:34.840,0:29:39.250
this warm welcome on behalf not only of
Lafayette College, but also the Lehigh

0:29:39.250,0:29:42.970
Valley Association of Independent
Colleges, the organization known as LVAIC,

0:29:42.970,0:29:47.140
which is a unique consortium and
one of the oldest such consortium in the

0:29:47.140,0:29:51.490
country. It consists of the six member
colleges and universities in the Lehigh

0:29:51.490,0:29:55.780
Valley and it's governed by a board made
up of the presidents of Lafayette

0:29:55.780,0:30:00.370
College, Lehigh University, Muhlenberg
College, Cedar Crest college, and of

0:30:00.370,0:30:05.350
course DeSales University. At the
foundation of the LVAIC consortium is

0:30:05.350,0:30:09.429
the understanding that our colleges are
stronger and more distinctive together, a

0:30:09.429,0:30:13.000
vision that's realized through the
consistent cooperation and collaboration

0:30:13.000,0:30:17.110
among our institutions. Our board of
directors has already had the pleasure

0:30:17.110,0:30:21.429
of spending time with Father Greenfield
and we owe the DeSales community a

0:30:21.429,0:30:25.090
heartfelt thank you for bringing a
leader of his quality and vision to the

0:30:25.090,0:30:29.590
Lehigh Valley. We believe that our work
together will continue to strengthen and

0:30:29.590,0:30:34.030
empower a community of educators and
learners as they create knowledge, drive

0:30:34.030,0:30:38.970
innovation, and affect positive change on
a regional, national, and global scale.

0:30:38.970,0:30:43.240
Father Greenfield, your fellow LVAIC
board members wish you the very best of

0:30:43.240,0:30:47.049
luck in your presidency and offer our
full support in your endeavors here at

0:30:47.049,0:30:52.350
DeSales University and within the Lehigh
Valley. Congratulations!

0:30:54.309,0:31:03.829
Thank you, Dr. Byerly. Please welcome the
Honorable Joseph F Leeson, Jr., class

0:31:03.829,0:31:09.349
of 1977, United States District Judge for
the US District Court for the Eastern

0:31:09.349,0:31:13.489
District of Pennsylvania to offer
greetings on behalf of the Civic

0:31:13.489,0:31:25.879
community. It's an honor to be able to
offer congratulations on the occasion of

0:31:25.879,0:31:29.719
the inauguration of Father Greenfield as
the fourth president of DeSales

0:31:29.719,0:31:36.349
University. Only fifty years ago this
area was undeveloped and filled with

0:31:36.349,0:31:43.820
corn fields. In that short period of time,
DeSales has grown into be a regional

0:31:43.820,0:31:50.149
university and grown into a a beautiful
suburban campus here in the Lehigh

0:31:50.149,0:31:54.799
Valley. It's become an important part of
the community and it's over 7,000

0:31:54.799,0:32:00.729
graduates live, work, and raise their
families here in the Lehigh Valley.

0:32:00.729,0:32:06.559
They play prominent roles in the
business, community, government, law

0:32:06.559,0:32:14.389
enforcement, education, health care, the
professions the arts, and in a myriad of

0:32:14.389,0:32:19.929
other fields.
DeSales has had a very notable and

0:32:19.929,0:32:24.979
influential role on enriching the
cultural life of the Lehigh Valley

0:32:24.979,0:32:31.459
through its involvement in the theater
and the arts. Throughout your life Father

0:32:31.459,0:32:39.379
Greenfield, you've shared your extensive
knowledge as an author, as a teacher, and

0:32:39.379,0:32:44.989
as a member of the board of trustees
here at DeSales University. Now as the

0:32:44.989,0:32:47.869
president of the school you're going to
have an opportunity to have a direct

0:32:47.869,0:32:55.659
impact on the future lives of its
students. I challenge you going forward

0:32:55.659,0:33:01.219
to build upon the success of the
institution to grow it, to make it thrive,

0:33:01.219,0:33:06.630
and to continue to educate men and women
and the service of the faith,

0:33:06.630,0:33:13.840
all in the spirit of the great gentleman
saint, St. Francis DeSales. I pledged my

0:33:13.840,0:33:19.390
full personal support to you as you
carry on the school's great tradition of

0:33:19.390,0:33:24.400
success. I look forward to working with
you for the betterment of the school, for

0:33:24.400,0:33:29.380
the betterment of the community, and in the many months and the many

0:33:29.380,0:33:35.460
years ahead and I extend my
congratulations to you and best wishes.

0:33:38.700,0:33:46.420
Thank you, Judge Leeson. Please welcome Mr. Timothy Dolan class of 1977,

0:33:46.420,0:33:50.770
and former DeSales University chair of
the board, who will offer greetings on

0:33:50.770,0:33:54.660
behalf of the DeSales University Alumni.

0:33:59.070,0:34:07.139
Good afternoon, welcome. In preparing
these remarks I referenced Father

0:34:07.139,0:34:12.100
Alexander Pocetto's book drawing out the
goodness in which he reviewed the

0:34:12.100,0:34:18.129
history of Allentown College. Father
Pocetto noted that as part

0:34:18.129,0:34:23.530
of Bishop McShae's vision for the college,
he wanted a school that was solidly

0:34:23.530,0:34:29.830
Catholic, affordable, and accessible to
all who qualified and he wanted the

0:34:29.830,0:34:34.510
College to be run by Oblates
because he knew he would get their first

0:34:34.510,0:34:43.990
team and he did. The first was Father
Stuart Dooling ,1964 to 78, who literally

0:34:43.990,0:34:51.159
tilled the fields and planted the crops.
Followed by Father Dann Gambet, 1978 to

0:34:51.159,0:34:56.859
1999, who through his vision and vitality
continued to nurture and expand the

0:34:56.859,0:35:01.630
college. Through him,
Allentown College continued to give a

0:35:01.630,0:35:09.930
Cadillac education at a Chevy price. His
successor was Father Bernard O'Connor,

0:35:09.930,0:35:15.760
1999 to 2017,
who followed the oblate motto of: "we

0:35:15.760,0:35:22.430
have taken hold and will not let go" and
took the university to a new plane, in terms

0:35:22.430,0:35:30.170
of spirituality and global expansion. I,
along with many other alums, have been

0:35:30.170,0:35:35.990
direct beneficiaries of their focus and
commitment. From its humble beginnings of

0:35:35.990,0:35:43.069
a class with 156 freshmen in 1965,
DeSales University proudly boasts of

0:35:43.069,0:35:51.260
almost 19,000 alum of its undergraduate,
ACCESS, and graduate programs our alumni

0:35:51.260,0:35:55.099
are individuals who have embraced the
cradle of our patrons St. Francis

0:35:55.099,0:36:00.980
DeSales, let us be what we are and be
that well in order to bring honor to the

0:36:00.980,0:36:07.099
master craftsman whose handiwork we are.
Today I have the honor and privilege of

0:36:07.099,0:36:13.460
welcoming on behalf of those alumni
Father James Greenfield, as the fourth

0:36:13.460,0:36:18.890
president of DeSales U. Father
Greenfield is uniquely qualified to step

0:36:18.890,0:36:24.890
into the role of president his early
education roots take him back to the

0:36:24.890,0:36:29.270
Philadelphia archdiocese, which along
with, the Diocese of Allentown in

0:36:29.270,0:36:34.010
Wilmington provided so many students to
the College in its early foundational

0:36:34.010,0:36:40.339
years. He is the first graduate to fill
the role as a fellow alum, graduate of

0:36:40.339,0:36:48.079
the class of 84, even though I look a lot
younger. His postgraduate work has taken

0:36:48.079,0:36:52.460
him well beyond Center Valley, exposing
him to the rapidly changing world in

0:36:52.460,0:36:58.010
which universities of the future must
compete, but never too far away as he has

0:36:58.010,0:37:04.220
served many years as a trustee of the
University Board. As alums, we all look

0:37:04.220,0:37:10.039
forward to his focus and commitment and
his becoming part of the 18 that will

0:37:10.039,0:37:15.970
continue the drive the university to
new heights. Thank you.

0:37:17.770,0:37:30.760
Thank You, Mr. Nolan. Please welcome Mr.
Brendan Graham, class of 2019, who will

0:37:30.760,0:37:44.850
offer greetings on behalf of the DeSales
University student body. Good afternoon.

0:37:44.850,0:37:48.940
Thank you for joining us today for the
inauguration of our University's fourth

0:37:48.940,0:37:53.860
president, Father James Greenfield. I'm
truly humbled and blessed to have this

0:37:53.860,0:37:57.580
opportunity to welcome you, Father
Greenfield, a fellow Father Judge

0:37:57.580,0:38:01.960
Crusader, on behalf of the student body.
It's already clear that you've

0:38:01.960,0:38:05.500
completely immersed herself in the
DeSales community in your short time as

0:38:05.500,0:38:11.050
president. Conducting informal listening
sessions with ice cream, attending the

0:38:11.050,0:38:14.260
Eagles pep rally on the turf field even
though I wouldn't paint his face green,

0:38:14.260,0:38:19.180
and emceeing the Special Olympics event
in Allentown making time to meet all the

0:38:19.180,0:38:24.160
volunteers are just a few prime examples
of your tremendous zeal and passion for

0:38:24.160,0:38:28.930
your title and vocation. The entire
student body and myself are excited for

0:38:28.930,0:38:32.710
the future of our institution under a
charismatic and meaningful leader like

0:38:32.710,0:38:37.410
yourself. Best of luck and welcome.

0:38:42.619,0:38:51.859
Thank You, Brendan. Next it is my pleasure to
introduce a distinguished member of the

0:38:51.859,0:38:57.170
DeSales University faculty, Dr. Katherine
Ramsland, who extends her salutations to

0:38:57.170,0:39:11.029
Father Greenfield on behalf of the
faculty. Father Greenfield, on behalf of

0:39:11.029,0:39:17.150
the DeSales faculty and with great
enthusiasm, I welcome you as our fourth

0:39:17.150,0:39:23.769
president. When I first met you I thought
you were the right person for the job.

0:39:23.769,0:39:30.920
My subsequent impressions have confirmed
this and my colleagues agree. We look

0:39:30.920,0:39:37.279
forward to moving ahead as you guide the
DeSales community in an open, respectful,

0:39:37.279,0:39:45.650
and inclusive manner toward becoming a
vibrant flagship Salesian University. May

0:39:45.650,0:39:50.630
God give you wisdom for a smooth
transition into this exciting challenge

0:39:50.630,0:39:55.539
and may it prove to be your calling.

0:39:58.930,0:40:06.019
Thank You, Dr. Ramsland. Please
welcome Ms. Marian Gehringer,

0:40:06.019,0:40:09.019
representing the professional
administrative staff of DeSales

0:40:09.019,0:40:20.659
University who offered greetings to
Father Greenfield.

0:40:25.560,0:40:31.960
Saint Jane DeChantal
once said, "with God there is no need for

0:40:31.960,0:40:41.350
long speeches". That being said, on behalf
of the professional staff of DeSales

0:40:41.350,0:40:48.540
University I would like to welcome you
Father Greenfield as our new president.

0:40:48.540,0:40:56.230
Those of us who have had the privilege
of working here many years have seen

0:40:56.230,0:41:05.620
remarkable changes. It is only fitting
that a place that started out as green

0:41:05.620,0:41:13.300
fields will continue to grow and prosper
under the leadership of Father

0:41:13.300,0:41:27.370
Greenfield. In your listening sessions
Father, you said that you saw yourself as

0:41:27.370,0:41:34.210
a pastor for this community, with that in
mind we look forward to working with you

0:41:34.210,0:41:41.830
and praying with you growing in wisdom,
age, and grace before God and man. God

0:41:41.830,0:41:50.550
bless you and good luck. Thank you, Marian.

0:41:59.880,0:42:04.210
Please welcome Ms. Margaret Huber,
representing the support staff of

0:42:04.210,0:42:23.650
DeSales University to offer greetings to
Father Greenfield. Good afternoon.

0:42:23.650,0:42:28.360
On behalf of the staff, I would like to
welcome all of our guests to this great

0:42:28.360,0:42:32.410
celebration the inauguration of our
fourth president

0:42:32.410,0:42:37.210
Father James Greenfield. I have been
blessed over the years by working for

0:42:37.210,0:42:42.490
all the presidents here at DeSales. Each
had their own special influence on our

0:42:42.490,0:42:47.710
campus. The staff and I look forward to
working with Father Greenfield and

0:42:47.710,0:42:53.260
giving him our support and prayers. He
has already been meeting in small groups

0:42:53.260,0:42:59.200
with us to get our feedback on DeSales.
It will be nice to have a president who

0:42:59.200,0:43:04.930
was here walking the halls as a student
and has a feeling of what goes on at all

0:43:04.930,0:43:09.730
levels within the university. To all the
guests that are here,

0:43:09.730,0:43:15.040
DeSales is a very special place where
things are not only happening today, but

0:43:15.040,0:43:20.530
also in the future. We have a very
special group of Oblates,

0:43:20.530,0:43:26.680
faculty, professional staff, and most of
all students. We all look forward to the

0:43:26.680,0:43:31.520
change that comes with a new president
and I see DeSales only getting

0:43:31.520,0:43:36.440
better. In ending, I have a short quote
from St. Francis DeSales:

0:43:36.440,0:43:43.100
"If we walk steadily and faithfully, God
will lift us up to greater things." May

0:43:43.100,0:43:48.260
God bless Father Greenfield as he begins
his new leadership as president of

0:43:48.260,0:44:05.450
DeSales University. Thank you. Thank You,
Margaret. Please welcome Mr. Patrick

0:44:05.450,0:44:09.950
Mulcahy, representing the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, who

0:44:09.950,0:44:18.160
offered greetings to Father Greenfield.

0:44:18.160,0:44:30.620
Transcendence and imperfection, causes
and effects, reality and mystery, beauty

0:44:30.620,0:44:39.400
and the sacred. What do Shakespeare
universities and university presidents

0:44:39.400,0:44:47.900
have in common and what do they do?
Each navigates and helps us to navigate

0:44:47.900,0:44:56.630
these paradoxes, these intersections. Each
brings order to the chaos. Each helps

0:44:56.630,0:45:02.530
guide us to a vision of human life in
its wholeness and just as the arts do,

0:45:02.530,0:45:09.940
each invites us not to that which we
wan,t but that which we ought to want.

0:45:09.940,0:45:14.480
Father Jim Greenfield's voluminous
strengths and gifts are self-evident, we

0:45:14.480,0:45:20.240
see in him the kind of leader who can do
all of these things and more and we see

0:45:20.240,0:45:25.700
how lucky we are in his leadership. As
each of the three previous presidents of

0:45:25.700,0:45:30.860
DeSales University was just the right
person at just the right time, the

0:45:30.860,0:45:35.890
University perhaps with a little help
from above has done it again.

0:45:35.890,0:45:41.930
To Father Greenfield and to all who were
involved in bringing him to us, to quote

0:45:41.930,0:45:47.630
the Bard, "thanks and
thanks and ever thanks". We and the

0:45:47.630,0:45:52.820
communities we serve are blessed to have
Father James J. Greenfield as our new

0:45:52.820,0:46:06.230
president. Thank You, Patrick. It is now my
pleasure to introduce the Reverend Kevin

0:46:06.230,0:46:19.390
M. Nadolski, OSFS, Assistant Provincial
of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales.

0:46:19.390,0:46:25.130
Bishop Schlert, Mr. Doug Brown, chair of
the board of DeSales University, fellow

0:46:25.130,0:46:30.770
trustees, esteemed faculty and staff,
beloved students and alumni, honored

0:46:30.770,0:46:36.800
guests and friends, dear members of the
Greenfield family, it is my huge and high

0:46:36.800,0:46:42.440
honor to present Reverend James Joseph
Greenfield, Oblate of St. Francis DeSales

0:46:42.440,0:46:47.450
to Mr. Brown and to the Board of
Trustees for inauguration as the fourth

0:46:47.450,0:46:53.390
president of this great University. Saint
John Paul the Second quoted the works of

0:46:53.390,0:46:58.280
the Second Vatican Council when he wrote
in his apostolic constitution Ex Corde

0:46:58.280,0:47:03.760
Ecclesia that catholic university
students are to become people

0:47:03.760,0:47:09.349
outstanding in learning, ready to
shoulder society's heavier burdens, and

0:47:09.349,0:47:16.820
to witness the faith to the world. This
lofty goal is grounded in the gospel of

0:47:16.820,0:47:22.520
Jesus, for all of us baptized people are
called to encounter our neighbors in our

0:47:22.520,0:47:30.740
society especially those most in need
those who are burdened. We Oblates of St.

0:47:30.740,0:47:35.540
Francis DeSales are confident that our
Brother Jim will finely lead DeSales

0:47:35.540,0:47:41.359
University students along with their
faculty and staff to take responsibility

0:47:41.359,0:47:46.690
for addressing the heavy burden of those
in the world who need our help.

0:47:46.690,0:47:53.680
Jim is excited to challenge our students
to witness to our faith in the world.

0:47:53.680,0:47:58.240
The founder of the Oblates of St.
Francis DeSales, blessed Louis

0:47:58.240,0:48:05.380
Brison exhorted the first Oblates to enter
society feet first and to reprint the

0:48:05.380,0:48:12.700
gospel with their lives. Our Brother and
Provincial Jim Greenfield certainly

0:48:12.700,0:48:20.310
engages to society with both feet on the
ground as a pastor, preacher, and teacher,

0:48:20.310,0:48:27.130
he meets people where they are without
judgment and with a joyful and reasoned

0:48:27.130,0:48:34.420
embrace of their potential. Indeed, he has
reprinted the gospel with his compassion

0:48:34.420,0:48:41.770
for those on the margins, respect for the
individuality of personalities, warm

0:48:41.770,0:48:48.700
witness to charity, a witty sense of
humor, strong intellect, and a generous

0:48:48.700,0:48:57.070
spirit. What's more, Jim is a wise leader
in his 10 years as our Provincial, his

0:48:57.070,0:49:03.750
gentle strength and strong gentleness
have been a unifying source of grace and

0:49:03.750,0:49:09.730
stabilizing force for mission. Jim is a
simple man with a profound love for

0:49:09.730,0:49:16.030
simple things. His favorite people are
his family especially his nieces and

0:49:16.030,0:49:22.990
nephews, sorry Tommy and Jerry, and he's
been an exemplary son to his parents, Bud

0:49:22.990,0:49:28.660
and his late mother, Nancy. I conclude
with one very brief anecdote that

0:49:28.660,0:49:36.430
illustrates the color and style of Jim
as a leader. As Denise mentioned, he

0:49:36.430,0:49:43.590
crafted the image of Maestro for his
leadership, he himself is a fine pianist

0:49:43.590,0:49:49.450
though I bet he would debate that. He
does see leading as bit of being a

0:49:49.450,0:49:54.490
maestro conducting the various
components of an orchestra to coordinate

0:49:54.490,0:50:01.240
each sound into beautiful music that
blesses the world and gives praise to

0:50:01.240,0:50:08.200
God. Today we are grateful that his late
mother, Nancy, and her best girlfriend,

0:50:08.200,0:50:12.130
Aunt Ruthie, worked so hard to get that
very

0:50:12.130,0:50:18.820
secondhand piano for a little boy named,
Jimmy Greenfield. Chairman Brown and

0:50:18.820,0:50:24.790
fellow trustees, on behalf of the Oblates
of St. Francis DeSales, I present to you

0:50:24.790,0:50:30.520
for ministry and for service as the
fourth president of DeSales University a

0:50:30.520,0:50:38.800
learner and a listener our pastor and
our provincial our Salesian brother and

0:50:38.800,0:50:46.669
our fellow disciple, Father Jim
Greenfield.

0:51:17.420,0:51:23.370
Thank You, Father Nadolski and now it is
with pride that we commence

0:51:23.370,0:51:28.800
the investiture of Reverend James J.
Greenfield, OSFS, the fourth president of

0:51:28.800,0:51:34.260
DeSales University. I invite to the
podium W. Douglas Brown, chair of the

0:51:34.260,0:51:39.690
DeSales University Board of Trustees,
Reverend Bernard F O'Connor OSFS, third

0:51:39.690,0:51:43.410
president of DeSales University and
president emeritus, and the Reverend

0:51:43.410,0:51:47.400
Kevin M. Nadolski, OSFS, Assistant
Provincial of the Oblates

0:51:47.400,0:51:58.620
of St. Francis DeSales. Thank you. Before
I go to the prepared remarks, I just

0:51:58.620,0:52:02.730
want to tell you as chairman how proud I
am of this institution in this moment

0:52:02.730,0:52:07.950
this is really quite, quite something.
Okay, it's a great pleasure and privilege

0:52:07.950,0:52:12.300
for me to be here with you today to
confer DeSales University's highest

0:52:12.300,0:52:18.180
office on Reverend James J. Greenfield,
OSFS. DeSales University's Board has

0:52:18.180,0:52:22.770
made an excellent choice in selecting
Reverend Jim Greenfield. He's a man who

0:52:22.770,0:52:27.030
spent his life in the service of God,
he's earned the confidence of all who

0:52:27.030,0:52:31.920
join him in this great cause. Today he
will receive a symbol of his new office,

0:52:31.920,0:52:36.660
the President's Medallion, which he will wear
around his neck at honors

0:52:36.660,0:52:41.340
occasions, commencements, and other
important ceremonial occasions. Its

0:52:41.340,0:52:45.450
weight shall be a reminder of the heavy
responsibilities must be willingly

0:52:45.450,0:52:50.960
carried by all who occupy positions of
leadership. The design on its face

0:52:50.960,0:52:56.580
reproduction the university seal is a
representation of the large community

0:52:56.580,0:53:02.210
serves. Reverend James J. Greenfield, will you
please come forward.

0:53:06.990,0:53:10.470
Over the course of its history, DeSales
University has installed three

0:53:10.470,0:53:13.680
presidents, one of those former
presidents is with us today,

0:53:13.680,0:53:19.800
my dear friend, Father Bernie O'Connor.
Today this distinguished company and

0:53:19.800,0:53:23.640
university officials, scholars, and
esteemed guests have come together to

0:53:23.640,0:53:28.020
confer that high office on Reverend
James J. Greenfield, who was selected by

0:53:28.020,0:53:32.460
the vote of the DeSales University Board
of Trustees. Reverend Jim Greenfield

0:53:32.460,0:53:36.480
brings personal and professional
qualities of the highest order to this

0:53:36.480,0:53:41.130
new position. He's a born leader with deep
and abiding commitment to Catholic

0:53:41.130,0:53:46.170
higher education. He is a thoroughly
experienced administrator. His career has

0:53:46.170,0:53:50.130
given him personal knowledge the
challenges facing all levels of Catholic

0:53:50.130,0:53:55.730
higher education in our state.
Father Jim is a people person,

0:53:55.730,0:54:02.580
you cannot meet him and not be conscious
of the intellect, the charisma, and enthusiasm

0:54:02.580,0:54:05.869
that he brings to every task.

0:54:14.850,0:54:23.100
Medallion. You've been duly elected to
serve as president of DeSales

0:54:23.100,0:54:27.000
University. It's my great pleasure as
chair of the DeSales University Board of

0:54:27.000,0:54:30.870
Trustees to install you in that office
of all of its requisite rights,

0:54:30.870,0:54:35.340
privileges, and responsibilities. By
accepting the President's Medallion you

0:54:35.340,0:54:41.040
accept the charge to honor the core
values of reverence, integrity, service

0:54:41.040,0:54:46.140
excellence, and stewardship as you carry
out the duties President of DeSales

0:54:46.140,0:54:48.830
University.

0:55:18.160,0:55:27.049
Technical difficulties. Ladies and
gentlemen, I present to you the fourth

0:55:27.049,0:55:32.380
president of DeSales University, Reverend
Jim Greenfield.

0:55:53.029,0:56:08.009
Thank you. Thank you so much and I'm so
thrilled to be here with all of you. I'm

0:56:08.009,0:56:12.449
here and I get the best view I just like
to take everyone's picture for my

0:56:12.449,0:56:18.449
Instagram account, so please smile you
will see yourselves, there we go.

0:56:18.449,0:56:26.430
I'm doing that. Bishop Alfred Schlert, a 
good friend and a former member of the

0:56:26.430,0:56:29.309
board,
Doug Brown, chairman of the board at

0:56:29.309,0:56:33.869
DeSales University, good friend, fellow
trustees, my brother Oblates of St.

0:56:33.869,0:56:39.089
Francis DeSales, dignified public
servants, visiting representatives of

0:56:39.089,0:56:44.279
colleges and universities, fellow
religious and clergy, and especially I'm

0:56:44.279,0:56:49.079
thrilled to have members of the
Franciscans, Jesuits, Redemptorist,

0:56:49.079,0:56:54.749
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sisters of St.
Joseph, Dominicans, and Augustinian with

0:56:54.749,0:56:59.099
us today.
Faculty and staff, it is great to be here

0:56:59.099,0:57:03.420
with you. It is a real honor and a
privilege for me to work alongside you.

0:57:03.420,0:57:09.869
Beloved students and alumni, honored
guests, and friends, especially friends

0:57:09.869,0:57:14.429
who've traveled so far from my former
ministries in Delaware, Northern Virginia,

0:57:14.429,0:57:21.150
and Washington DC. It's my deep honor to
stand here before you this afternoon to

0:57:21.150,0:57:25.829
be presented for service and ministry as
the fourth president of DeSales

0:57:25.829,0:57:32.880
University. Today is a momentous occasion
for all of us here in Center Valley: our

0:57:32.880,0:57:38.209
local Giant will start selling beer and
wine today.

0:57:40.710,0:57:50.070
It's a big deal. I'm honored by the trust
of the entire university community and

0:57:50.070,0:57:55.870
deeply grateful to the Board of Trustees
for its confidence in choosing me as the

0:57:55.870,0:58:01.750
fourth president. At the start, I want to
thank my Oblate confrare, Father Bernie

0:58:01.750,0:58:07.240
O'Connor in particular. As my predecessor, Father Bernie served this

0:58:07.240,0:58:13.540
university with classic distinction as
president for 19 years and began a long

0:58:13.540,0:58:21.490
career in 1974 as a professor, Dean, and
vice president, but for me he will always

0:58:21.490,0:58:38.290
be my eccentric philosophy professor.
Bernie. Bernie, your intellect and vision

0:58:38.290,0:58:41.830
brought more than the several new
buildings that augment our beautiful

0:58:41.830,0:58:47.230
campus, you deepened our embrace of
Catholic Salesian mission and develop

0:58:47.230,0:58:52.870
new and lasting relationships here and
around the world. Welcome back and thanks

0:58:52.870,0:58:58.480
for tearing yourself away from Naples,
Florida to be with us. As many of you

0:58:58.480,0:59:04.150
know I did not take office until January,
just 12 weeks ago and Father O'Connor

0:59:04.150,0:59:10.600
needed to get to Florida ASAP. Dr. Jerry
Joyce served as interim president with

0:59:10.600,0:59:16.330
strong professionalism and deft
administrative skill. Jerry, we thank you

0:59:16.330,0:59:20.980
and the generous spirit of your ever
cheerful wife ,Erin and your five

0:59:20.980,0:59:25.870
children Isabella,
Liam, Aden, Emilia, and Adeline for letting

0:59:25.870,0:59:29.580
you serve us for those six months.

0:59:35.910,0:59:43.259
And I know, for a brief, but exciting six
months this institution had a first lady

0:59:43.259,0:59:49.019
who made us proud. Finally, I want to
acknowledge my family sitting all over

0:59:49.019,0:59:56.609
here, especially my dad. Dad, you gave Tom, Jerry, and me such

0:59:56.609,1:00:02.009
great, incredible lives. He taught us how
to love and to learn and you provided

1:00:02.009,1:00:13.259
for a Catholic education at great
personal sacrifice. Mom's spirit we know is lovingly with us today and I know
she's proud of us right now. Not just for

1:00:13.259,1:00:20.910
me, but that you are wearing a suit and
tie that match. And as I said earlier at

1:00:20.910,1:00:26.369
Mass today, I am so incredibly proud to
share this day with you ,so dad I love

1:00:26.369,1:00:41.940
you and thank you for being here. My
brothers, Tom and Jerry, I am thrilled

1:00:41.940,1:00:46.469
that you're here too along with your
wonderful wives ,Patty and Chris, and a

1:00:46.469,1:00:51.150
personal message now to my nieces and
nephews Matt, Megan, Sammy,

1:00:51.150,1:00:57.450
Drew, and Timmy educated at St. Joe's,
Temple, Drexel, and LaSalle. From this day

1:00:57.450,1:01:04.469
forward, you were only to wear DeSales
University Bulldog gear and happy

1:01:04.469,1:01:11.709
birthday to my beautiful niece Megan,
thank you.

1:01:12.620,1:01:17.750
I thank those who spoke to greet and
welcomed me, but all of us here today.

1:01:17.750,1:01:21.800
Your words were heartwarming and
encouraging. I am grateful to president

1:01:21.800,1:01:27.050
Alyson Byerly from LVAIC and Lafayette
College who spoke on all behalf of the

1:01:27.050,1:01:32.270
presidents of LVAIX. I'm also grateful
to Tom Flynn president of Alvernia

1:01:32.270,1:01:36.560
College in Reading, the other Catholic
University here in the Diocese of

1:01:36.560,1:01:42.740
Allentown and also to Don Francis who is
retiring as president of the Association

1:01:42.740,1:01:49.840
of Independent Colleges and Universities
of Pennsylvania and Father Peter Donohue,

1:01:49.840,1:01:59.860
congratulations.
We bulldogs are proud of you Wildcats.

1:02:01.799,1:02:08.249
And I want to remember their star player
Donte DiVincenzo got his humble

1:02:08.249,1:02:12.509
beginnings at Salesianum School, so he
has a lot of Salesian spirituality in him,

1:02:12.509,1:02:23.130
so yes. As I was preparing this speech a
number of inaugural veterans proffered

1:02:23.130,1:02:28.349
much free advice: be profound, humorous,
insightful, literate, inclusive, and

1:02:28.349,1:02:34.410
inspirational, respectful, aspirational,
and above all, brief. So for the remainder

1:02:34.410,1:02:39.449
of this inaugural address I would like
to touch on three areas: the first one

1:02:39.449,1:02:47.369
memories of my alma mater, two: a mandate
for Catholic higher education and three:

1:02:47.369,1:02:54.390
the mission of DeSales University.
So, first the memories. In May of 1984 in

1:02:54.390,1:02:57.150
this very building in the wood courts
right over there,

1:02:57.150,1:03:02.219
I sat with my classmates for my
commencement ceremony presided over by

1:03:02.219,1:03:06.809
Father Dan Gembet, the second president.
Even though Father Gamber is one of the

1:03:06.809,1:03:12.900
finest orators I've ever met, I don't
remember anything he said or for that

1:03:12.900,1:03:18.420
fact what anyone said ,but I still
remember the day. A gorgeous Center

1:03:18.420,1:03:24.150
Valley afternoon what one former student
described as a place where the sunsets

1:03:24.150,1:03:30.089
were so beautiful they could cause
heartache. There are memories of Bishop

1:03:30.089,1:03:34.709
McShea and Father Dolan founding this
College smack in the middle of the 60s,

1:03:34.709,1:03:39.809
what another student suggests it was
either horribly naive or a noble act of

1:03:39.809,1:03:45.269
hope and courage. While students on other
campuses were burning flags, our first

1:03:45.269,1:03:49.650
students were dealing with the likes of
the infamous Dean civilus and rallying

1:03:49.650,1:03:54.390
not necessarily against the war, although
there was one on the roof of Conmy Hall,

1:03:54.390,1:03:59.729
but to have women admitted to the
college. Fast forward to this present

1:03:59.729,1:04:04.559
moment back in the same building on this
commencement as the fourth president and

1:04:04.559,1:04:11.789
its first alum to do, so I share with the
Irish poet John Odana who wrote: "the

1:04:11.789,1:04:17.430
human soul is hungry for beauty.
When we experience the beautiful there

1:04:17.430,1:04:22.170
is a sense of homecoming some of our
most wonderful memories are beautiful

1:04:22.170,1:04:29.549
places where we felt immediately at home."
Assuming this new ministry, I feel at

1:04:29.549,1:04:36.059
home and I'm thrilled to be back in
Center Valley. Launched as a 21 year old

1:04:36.059,1:04:42.140
into the world from this place I now
return to it at the youthful age of 56

1:04:42.140,1:04:48.630
for this University's blast off into its
next 50 years. Some buildings we just

1:04:48.630,1:04:53.609
passed through, but this building has
become an icon of what this school has

1:04:53.609,1:04:58.920
become. Commencing my first weeks in
early January I came here early in the

1:04:58.920,1:05:07.529
morning to work out right up there at
the top of the steps in the Compardo Fitness Center and that Compardo
Fitness Center is named after our

1:05:07.529,1:05:14.069
beloved coach, John Compardo, who died
recently at the age of 97. His spirit

1:05:14.069,1:05:20.460
still fills this place. Back then Billera Hall was never opened that early

1:05:20.460,1:05:24.390
and there was no such thing as a fitness
center, just a room with free weights

1:05:24.390,1:05:31.529
somewhere in a closet and from the looks
of me I wasn't using them. But let me

1:05:31.529,1:05:36.180
note, speaking of fitness centers, there
are plenty of opportunities naming and

1:05:36.180,1:05:43.769
otherwise for anyone here who desires to
expand that Center. Yes, in 35 years

1:05:43.769,1:05:48.749
Billera Hall has changed dramatically
and so has this great school and so is

1:05:48.749,1:05:55.440
the world and the enterprise of higher
education. My second point, a mandate for

1:05:55.440,1:06:01.259
Catholic higher ed. I am a big fan of
David Brooks a conservative writer and

1:06:01.259,1:06:06.420
political analyst at the New York Times
and a commentator for the PBS Newshour.

1:06:06.420,1:06:12.210
In his book, "The Road to Character", he
notes the difference between

1:06:12.210,1:06:17.969
the resume virtues and the eulogy
virtues. In modern society, we too often

1:06:17.969,1:06:22.829
focus our efforts on what he calls the
resume virtues, the measurable

1:06:22.829,1:06:28.349
compliments and accolades instead of the
eulogy virtues, the things for which all

1:06:28.349,1:06:31.170
of us
we'll be remembered. He notes the

1:06:31.170,1:06:36.300
tremendous increase in the desire of
Fame and notoriety in this age of social

1:06:36.300,1:06:41.910
media. He cites one study where middle
school girls were asked who they would

1:06:41.910,1:06:47.370
most like to have dinner with. Jesus
Christ came in second sandwiched between

1:06:47.370,1:06:53.040
two celebrities whose stars have now
faded. The girls were then asked which of

1:06:53.040,1:06:57.720
the following jobs they'd like to have.
Nearly twice as many said that they'd

1:06:57.720,1:07:02.060
rather be a celebrity's personal
assistant, for example, Justin Bieber's,

1:07:02.060,1:07:08.040
than the president of Harvard. Though, to
be fair after 12 weeks on the job here

1:07:08.040,1:07:13.050
at DeSales, I'm pretty sure the president
of Harvard would also rather be Justin

1:07:13.050,1:07:20.130
Bieber's personal assistant some days. In
a culture that is overly hyped on status,

1:07:20.130,1:07:25.350
DeSales University is a place where
young adults learn the both and of

1:07:25.350,1:07:31.710
building resume and eulogy virtues. The
cost of college in the United States has

1:07:31.710,1:07:37.800
skyrocketed from an average of eighteen
thousand five hundred dollars in 2000 to

1:07:37.800,1:07:45.900
almost 39 thousand dollars in 2015.
That's an inflation rate of 209 percent

1:07:45.900,1:07:51.780
or 71 percentage points higher than the
overall rate of inflation over the same

1:07:51.780,1:07:57.270
period and I don't even have an MBA. This
has led to the highest levels of student

1:07:57.270,1:08:01.860
debt we have ever seen in this country,
concomitantly, it has led to an

1:08:01.860,1:08:08.120
unprecedented level of mistrust for the
liberal arts in our country, as well.

1:08:08.120,1:08:14.580
Along with our esteemed faculty I see it
as a moral imperative and a matter of

1:08:14.580,1:08:19.770
justice to make sure every dollar
parents and their young children spend

1:08:19.770,1:08:26.010
on an education here at DeSales
University is worth the investment. The

1:08:26.010,1:08:30.870
data suggests that college graduates
make more money than others, pay more

1:08:30.870,1:08:36.089
taxes, are more likely to be employed,
hold more prestigious jobs, move up

1:08:36.089,1:08:42.270
financially, and become entrepreneurs.
Those are the resume virtues, but those

1:08:42.270,1:08:47.339
data also suggests college graduates are
more likely to volunteer, vote,

1:08:47.339,1:08:52.020
be civic leaders, give larger amounts
to charity, and report higher levels of

1:08:52.020,1:08:58.109
personal job satisfaction. These are the
eulogy virtues. Amidst the mounting

1:08:58.109,1:09:02.850
suspicion for the liberal arts keeping
the right balance of these virtues is a

1:09:02.850,1:09:08.990
hopeful construct in assessing the value
importance and the necessity for them.

1:09:08.990,1:09:15.240
The great American church historian of
the 20th century, Monsignor John Tracy

1:09:15.240,1:09:21.540
Ellis, assailed the trend of Catholic
colleges and universities departing from

1:09:21.540,1:09:26.549
the Catholic intellectual tradition
which made them destination points in

1:09:26.549,1:09:31.230
the middle of the last century. He didn't
have the vocabulary of eulogy virtues

1:09:31.230,1:09:37.109
and resume virtues he was more blunt.
He said the Catholic Academy was guilty

1:09:37.109,1:09:44.400
of athleticism, vocationalism, and
anti-intellectualism. Of course we want

1:09:44.400,1:09:50.640
to get our graduates jobs, but we also
want to get them to heaven. For this

1:09:50.640,1:09:56.130
latter journey, they need to understand
truth, appreciate beauty, and work and

1:09:56.130,1:10:01.080
search for goodness. Anything else cheats
them of what it means to be a learning

1:10:01.080,1:10:07.980
woman or man. Just two weeks ago and
Brendan suggested this in his very warm

1:10:07.980,1:10:12.450
welcome almost three hundred DeSales
students gave up a free weekend to host

1:10:12.450,1:10:15.240
the Special Olympics here in the Lehigh
Valley.

1:10:15.240,1:10:20.150
Hundreds of them also sacrificed their
Spring Break to serve those in need.

1:10:20.150,1:10:24.840
Faithful to the call to care for our
environment, 100 trees are being planted

1:10:24.840,1:10:31.260
by students as part of the inauguration
initiative. Like many of you, I watched

1:10:31.260,1:10:36.270
last week in DC and around the world
hundreds of thousands of teens and young

1:10:36.270,1:10:41.780
people protesting gun violence in the
wake of the massacre in Parkland, Florida.

1:10:41.780,1:10:46.920
Young Sarah Chadwick challenged our
nation's leaders who remained silent to

1:10:46.920,1:10:51.720
sensible legislation to curb gun
violence. She said simply to those

1:10:51.720,1:10:55.890
politicians get ready to get voted out
of office by us,

1:10:55.890,1:11:00.360
the future. This was especially
encouraging not just because she named

1:11:00.360,1:11:05.910
herself and her vast peer group as the
future, rather she assured us that she

1:11:05.910,1:11:11.430
and her vast student group and peer
group will all vote and we pray they do

1:11:11.430,1:11:15.870
and never have such a poor showing at
the polls as the Millennials, a

1:11:15.870,1:11:21.570
generation before them did, when fewer
than one in five voted in the 2016

1:11:21.570,1:11:27.000
election. And I speak directly to all of
our students here today, too many people

1:11:27.000,1:11:34.460
died for your right to vote please honor
them by exercising that cherished right.

1:11:34.460,1:11:40.740
Third and finally, the mission of DeSales University. Our Catholic Salesian

1:11:40.740,1:11:45.420
mission is the centerpiece of what we do
here at DeSales. Our hope for all of our

1:11:45.420,1:11:51.270
students is that they fall in love with
the ultimate beauty who is God and in

1:11:51.270,1:11:54.990
the words of Father Gerry Schubert, the
beloved founder of the theater program

1:11:54.990,1:12:02.850
here at DeSales, quoting Gerard Manley
Hopkins, "we need to give beauty back". This

1:12:02.850,1:12:08.430
is the beauty of social justice, loving
and serving others, especially those in

1:12:08.430,1:12:13.620
need. It would be somewhat anachronistic
to suggest the 16th century Bishop like

1:12:13.620,1:12:19.110
Francis DeSales would have a 21st
century social justice ethos, but his

1:12:19.110,1:12:24.510
notion of unidiverse as defined on the
program cover calls us to a peaceable,

1:12:24.510,1:12:30.830
loving, coexistence with others who are
in any way different from ourselves.

1:12:30.830,1:12:36.330
Whether this difference is based on how
we name God, whom we love, what our

1:12:36.330,1:12:41.610
national origin is, which language we
speak, what color our skin is, for whom we

1:12:41.610,1:12:46.590
vote, or how much we earn. These
differences add to the rich panoply of

1:12:46.590,1:12:51.990
the light that illustrates the grandeur
of God and the expanse of God's grace

1:12:51.990,1:12:57.870
and goodness. Higher education in the
Salesian tradition connects the pursuit

1:12:57.870,1:13:03.330
of truth and a commitment to the
teachings of the Catholic Church. It is

1:13:03.330,1:13:08.160
especially committed to a Christian
humanism that reverences every aspect of

1:13:08.160,1:13:10.849
human
experience as being capable of

1:13:10.849,1:13:13.999
enlightenment by the gospel of Jesus
Christ.

1:13:13.999,1:13:19.939
I find it utterly inspiring that today's
festivities fall on the fiftieth

1:13:19.939,1:13:25.909
anniversary of the death of Reverend Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. King died because

1:13:25.909,1:13:31.959
many people could not tolerate the
unidiverse of his worldview. I quote him,

1:13:31.959,1:13:36.320
"history will have to record that the
greatest tragedy of this period of

1:13:36.320,1:13:41.719
social transition was not the strident
clamor of the bad people, but the

1:13:41.719,1:13:48.050
appalling silence of the good people". At
his death President Johnson exhorted our

1:13:48.050,1:13:52.249
nation to reject line violence as he
hailed the slain religious civil rights

1:13:52.249,1:13:58.879
leader as an apostle of non-violence. St.
Paul proclaims in the second letter to

1:13:58.879,1:14:05.239
the Corinthians, "we are afflicted in
every way but not constrained; perplexed,

1:14:05.239,1:14:11.419
but not driven to despair; persecuted, but
not abandoned; struck down, but not

1:14:11.419,1:14:17.689
destroyed; always carrying about in the
body the dying of Jesus so that the life

1:14:17.689,1:14:23.749
of Jesus may also be manifested in our
body". We can best honor Dr. Martin Luther

1:14:23.749,1:14:29.449
King, says our United States Catholic
Conference of Bishops, by continuing to

1:14:29.449,1:14:35.659
Ford his legacy and boldly asking God
today and every day to deepen our own

1:14:35.659,1:14:40.939
commitment to follow his will wherever
it leads in the cause of promoting

1:14:40.939,1:14:47.539
justice. This is why we cannot be silent
to social issues of our time on this

1:14:47.539,1:14:53.449
College University campus. A primary
skill we learn from St. Francis DeSales

1:14:53.449,1:14:59.629
is the art and the discipline of
dialogue. Pope Francis is an apostle of

1:14:59.629,1:15:04.010
dialogue calling Ford in two of his
seminal writings of this five-year

1:15:04.010,1:15:10.879
papacy. evangelii gaudium and laudato si
champion dialogue as essential means to

1:15:10.879,1:15:16.879
peace. What's more his Congregation for
Catholic education last April announced

1:15:16.879,1:15:21.889
a new vision for Catholic education
where dialogue is the lesson plan

1:15:21.889,1:15:27.530
that puts the human person at the center
of Education. Here in Center Valley, the

1:15:27.530,1:15:32.499
human person in dialogue with others
will be the centerpiece of all learning.

1:15:32.499,1:15:37.849
Such, an educational enterprise emerges
splendidly from our Catholic

1:15:37.849,1:15:42.550
intellectual tradition that is rooted in
the liberal and creative arts and

1:15:42.550,1:15:47.630
connected to the sciences and the
technological pursuits found in business,

1:15:47.630,1:15:55.939
education, healthcare, and social services.
In conclusion, someone once gave a

1:15:55.939,1:16:01.249
commencement address at Yale University.
He spoke to the graduates, "our

1:16:01.249,1:16:06.999
civilization stands at the crossroads.
Down one road is despondency and despair,

1:16:06.999,1:16:12.679
down the other road is total
annihilation. I hope you'll take the

1:16:12.679,1:16:17.719
right Road."
There's too much cynicism about our

1:16:17.719,1:16:23.479
future. I say this again directly to all
of our students: the education you

1:16:23.479,1:16:28.010
receive here at DeSales University
provides you with an extraordinary

1:16:28.010,1:16:35.239
opportunity to reimagine the right road
to take into your future equipped with

1:16:35.239,1:16:40.130
the Salesian art of dialogue and
understanding of the unidiverse. You can be

1:16:40.130,1:16:45.800
the change our world needs at this
present moment. I began my remarks today

1:16:45.800,1:16:51.139
by quoting an Irish poet reminding us
that the human soul is hungry for beauty

1:16:51.139,1:16:57.649
and when we experience the beautiful we
feel immediately at home. DeSales

1:16:57.649,1:17:03.050
University is a home that holds all of
us together whether student, faculty,

1:17:03.050,1:17:11.199
staff, or alumni. The words of our school
seal hanging behind us, hanging behind me

1:17:11.199,1:17:16.969
instructs us well. They're the words that
inspired Francis DeSales, "Tenui nec

1:17:16.969,1:17:22.389
Dimittam". I have taken hold and I will not
let go.

1:17:22.389,1:17:27.800
Francis believed that our God grasped
our hearts and souls in love and will

1:17:27.800,1:17:33.919
never abandon us. My prayer for all of us
is that we never forget we are held in

1:17:33.919,1:17:39.400
such a divine embrace
and we never never ever let go of the

1:17:39.400,1:17:44.530
ultimate beauty who is God, the master
craftsman in whose image we are

1:17:44.530,1:17:50.800
fashioned and who invites us day in and
day out to be who we are and be that

1:17:50.800,1:17:54.300
well. Thank you.

1:18:31.369,1:18:35.670
Thank you President Greenfield for your
inspiring words and your vision for

1:18:35.670,1:18:39.360
DeSales University.
We welcome you as our president and we

1:18:39.360,1:18:43.469
look forward to working with you as the
university moves into the future filled

1:18:43.469,1:18:48.119
with high achievement and service to God,
to the people of Pennsylvania, the nation,

1:18:48.119,1:18:53.519
and the world. And now I would like to
introduce Dr. Stephen Myers, professor of

1:18:53.519,1:18:56.969
English, to read an original poem he
wrote especially for this inauguration.

1:18:56.969,1:19:13.860
Dr. Myers. "Poem Ending with Lines from
Wendell Berry" for the inauguration of

1:19:13.860,1:19:25.709
Reverend James J. Greenfield, OSFS. Then
here they were Jim outside my window in

1:19:25.709,1:19:33.749
Dooling Hall signing their defiance of
January's lead-lined grey with a show of

1:19:33.749,1:19:42.050
feathery blue bird blue an air dance a
spectacular act of levitation and

1:19:42.050,1:19:52.469
semaphoic messaging at heart
performance art chill winds the frozen

1:19:52.469,1:20:04.550
earth dull sky still this is how it
always starts the geese stream north

1:20:04.550,1:20:14.369
held to the ancient faith the witch
hazel explodes in pyrotechnic yellow the

1:20:14.369,1:20:25.309
great horned owl calls in a mate the
whole natural winter world homesick

1:20:25.309,1:20:31.230
hopeful and bent with zeal and great
good cheer

1:20:31.230,1:20:38.210
for home as you were Jim returning here

1:20:38.660,1:20:49.920
now April this auspicious afternoon here
the adding to and drawing from the pool

1:20:49.920,1:21:20.900
of human wisdom carries on here our
various labors various names Amirshokoohi Barbieri Broswell Brown Fuentez
Gupta Choppier Joyce Jubilan Nan

1:21:20.900,1:21:28.550
Pichetto Robbie Schwartz Shive
Schneider Wasnewtski Zerbe here Jim

1:21:28.550,1:21:40.350
before you the University it's beating
heart be unidiverse you exhorted us at

1:21:40.350,1:21:52.970
evening prayer and be that well and here
as one we pray not for new earth and

1:21:52.970,1:22:03.020
heaven but to be quiet in heart and in I
clear

1:22:03.020,1:22:09.020
what we need is here.

1:22:21.120,1:22:26.560
Thank you Dr. Meyers for that wonderful
reading and now that the DeSales

1:22:26.560,1:22:31.090
University chorale will present "All You
Works of the Lord, Bless the Lord"

1:22:31.090,1:22:35.410
while the DeSales University student dancers under the direction of

1:22:35.410,1:22:41.790
Timothy Cowart, associate professor of
dance, perform.

1:28:12.010,1:28:17.679
Please stand and remain standing for the
singing of our alma mater.

1:30:54.820,1:31:01.270
I now invite Bishop Alfred A. Schlert,
the Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown

1:31:01.270,1:31:04.139
to give the benediction.

1:31:13.120,1:31:20.000
Risen Lord, we give you thanks for the
many blessings of this Easter season joy,

1:31:20.000,1:31:28.550
light, and life. Inspire in our DeSales
University community the ability to be

1:31:28.550,1:31:34.850
joyful disciples on the road to emmaus
who recognized the presence of Christ

1:31:34.850,1:31:44.110
and proclaim his truth to all the world.
Allow us students, faculty, administrators,

1:31:44.110,1:31:50.480
benefactors, and Friends of DeSales to be
faithful witnesses of Jesus who

1:31:50.480,1:31:57.080
courageously bring the light of Christ
into the doubt, darkness, and hostility of

1:31:57.080,1:32:04.100
this world. Renew in us a greater
appreciation for the new life that you

1:32:04.100,1:32:10.340
have won for us through your
resurrection from the dead. As we depart

1:32:10.340,1:32:16.130
from this place grateful for the gift of
DeSales University and our newly

1:32:16.130,1:32:23.420
installed fourth president Father James
Greenfield OSFS may the joy, Light, and

1:32:23.420,1:32:30.650
Life of the Easter season guide us and
remain with us always. The Lord be with

1:32:30.650,1:32:39.950
you. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Our
help is in the name of the Lord. May

1:32:39.950,1:32:47.350
Almighty God bless you. The Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit.

1:32:55.120,1:33:01.219
This concludes the inauguration ceremony
of Reverend James J. Greenfield ,fourth

1:33:01.219,1:33:05.659
President of DeSales University. Please
remain in your seats throughout the

1:33:05.659,1:33:08.710
recessional you are all invited to a
reception in the DeSales University

1:33:08.710,1:33:20.890
Center. Thank you for being a part of
this momentous occasion.

Bishop Alfred Schlert, Doug Brown, chairman of the board of DeSales University, fellow trustees, brother Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, dignified public servants, visiting representatives of colleges and universities, fellow religious and clergy, esteemed faculty and staff, beloved students and alumni, honored guests and friends—it is my deep honor to stand before you today to be presented for service and ministry as the fourth president of DeSales University.

Today is a momentous occasion for all of us here in Center Valley … our local Giant will start selling beer and wine!

I am honored by the trust of the entire University community and deeply grateful to the Board of Trustees for its confidence in choosing me as the fourth president.

At the start, I want to thank some people in particular.  My predecessor, Fr. Bernie O’Connor, served this university with classic distinction as president for 19 years and began a long career here in 1974 as a professor, dean, and vice-president—but for me he will always be my eccentric philosophy professor.  Bernie, your intellect and vision brought more than the several new buildings that augment our beautiful campus.  You deepened our embrace of our Catholic, Salesian mission and developed new and lasting relationships here and around the world.  Welcome back and thanks for tearing yourself away from Naples, Florida to be with us.

As many of you know, I did not take office until January—and Fr. O’Connor needed to get to Florida ASAP.  Dr. Jerry Joyce served as interim president with strong professionalism and deft administrative skill.  Jerry, we thank you and the generous spirit of your ever-cheerful wife, Erin, and your five children, Isabella, Liam, Aiden, Amelia, and Adeline, for letting you serve us for those six months.  And, I note: for a brief, but exciting, six months this institution had a first lady!

Finally, I want to acknowledge my family, especially my Dad.  Dad, you and Mom gave Tom, Jerry, and me such great lives.  You taught us to love and learn and provided for our Catholic education at great personal sacrifice.  Mom’s spirit is lovingly with us … and I know she is so proud right now … not just for me … but that you are wearing a suit and tie that match!  In addition to my dad and two brothers, Tom and Gerry, I am thrilled that my sisters-in law, Patti and Chris are here today. And, a personal message to my nephews and nieces—Matt, Meghan, Sammy, Drew, and Timmy—educated at St. Joes, Temple, Drexel, and LaSalle—from this day forward, you are only to wear DeSales U Bulldog gear! And, happy birthday, Meghan.

I thank those who spoke to greet and welcome me today.  Your words were heartwarming and encouraging.  I am grateful to President Lynn Byerly from Lafayette College who spoke on behalf of presidents from the LVAIC institutions: Lehigh University, Moravian, Muhlenberg, and Cedar Crest Colleges.  Thanks also to Tom Flynn for being here today, president of Alvernia College in Reading, the other Catholic university here in the Diocese of Allentown.  And to Don Francis, who is retiring as president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of PA.

Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA – Congrats!! We Bulldogs are proud of you Wildcats!  But remember, Donte DiVincenzo, MVP of the game, has his roots steeped in the Salesian tradition as a graduate of Salesianum School.

As I was preparing this speech, a number of inaugural veterans proffered much free advice: “be profound, humorous, and insightful; literate, inclusive, and inspirational; respectful, aspirational, and [above all] brief” (Michael E. Engh, S.J., Inaugural Speech, Santa Clara University).

For the remainder of this inaugural address, I would like to touch on three areas:

  1. Memories of my alma mater
  2. Mandate for Catholic higher education
  3. Mission of DeSales University

First, Memories.

In May of 1984 in this very building, Billera Hall, I sat with my classmates for our commencement ceremony presided over by Fr. Dan Gambet, the second president of DeSales.  Even though he is one of the finest orators I know, I don’t remember anything he said, or for that fact, what anyone said.  But, I still remember the day – a gorgeous Center Valley afternoon. What one former student described as “a place where the sunsets were so beautiful they could cause heartache” (Tom Roberts, January 8, 2016, DeSales University web page).

There are memories of Bishop McShea and Fr. Dooling founding this college smack in the middle of the 60s—what that same student suggested was either horribly naïve or a noble act of hope and courage.  While students on other campuses were burning flags, our first students were dealing with the likes of the infamous Dean Sivulich and rallying not necessarily against the war, although there was one on the roof of Conmy Hall, but to have women admitted to the college.

Fast forward to this present moment, back in this same building, on this commencement as the fourth president and its first alum – I share what the Irish poet John O’Donohue wrote: “The human soul is hungry for beauty… When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are beautiful places where we felt immediately at home.”

Assuming this new ministry, I feel at home – and I am thrilled to be back.  Launched as a 21-year-old into the world from this Billera Hall, I now return to it at the youthful age of 56 for this university’s blast-off into its next 50-year chapter.  Some buildings we just pass through, but this building has become an icon of what this school has become.  Commencing my first weeks in early January, I came here early morning to work out.  Surprised how many students were also here due to clinical rotations and internships later in the day – I realized this is a different place from the 15-year-old undergraduate school named Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales that I remembered as a student.  Back then, Billera Hall was not even open that early—and there was no such thing as a fitness center—just a room with free weights (and from the looks of me I was not using them).

The gentle strength of Coach John Compardo, who died just a few weeks ago at the age of 97 still fills this place. The Fitness Center at the top of those stairs bears his name ... let me note, there are plenty of opportunities, naming and otherwise, for anyone here who desires to expand that center!

Yes, in 35 years, Billera Hall changed dramatically, so has this great school.  And, so has the world and the enterprise of higher education. 

Second, a mandate for Catholic higher education.

I am a big fan of David Brooks, a conservative writer and political analyst at the New York Times and a commentator for the PBS NewsHour.  In his book, “The Road to Character,” he notes the difference between the resume virtues and the eulogy virtues.  In modern society, we too often focus our efforts on what he calls resume virtues, measurable accomplishments and accolades, instead of eulogy virtues, the things for which we will be remembered.

He notes the tremendous increase in the desire for fame and notoriety in this age of social media.  He cites one study where middle school girls were asked who they would most like to have dinner with.  Jesus Christ came in second, sandwiched between two celebrities whose stars have now faded.  The girls were then asked which of the following jobs they would like to have.  Nearly twice as many said they’d rather be a celebrity’s personal assistant—for example, Justin Bieber’s—than president of Harvard.  Though, to be fair, after 12 weeks on the job here at DeSales, I’m pretty sure the president of Harvard would also rather be Justin Bieber’s personal assistant on some days!

In a culture that is overly-hyped on status, DeSales University is a place where young adults learn the both/and of building resume and eulogy virtues! The cost of college in the United States has skyrocketed from an average of $18,500 in 2000 to almost $39,000 in 2015.That’s an inflation rate of 209 percent, or 71 percentage points higher than the overall rate of inflation over the same period. This has led to the highest levels of student debt we have ever seen!  Concomitantly, it has led to an unprecedented level of mistrust for the liberal arts in our country as a result.

Along with our esteemed faculty, I see it as a moral imperative and a matter of justice to make sure every dollar parents and their young adult children spend on an education here at DeSales is worth their investment.

The data suggest that college graduates make more money than others, pay more taxes, are more likely to be employed, hold more prestigious jobs, move up financially, and become entrepreneurs—these are the resume virtues.  But, those data also suggest college graduates are more likely to volunteer, vote, be civic leaders, give larger amounts to charity, and report higher levels of personal and job satisfaction—these are the eulogy virtues.

Amidst the mounting suspicion for the liberal arts, keeping the right balance of these virtues is a helpful construct in assessing the value, importance, and even necessity for them.

The great American church historian of the 20th century, Msgr. John Tracy Ellis assailed the trend of Catholic colleges and universities departure from the Catholic intellectual tradition which made them destination points in the middle of the last century.  He didn’t have the vocabulary of eulogy virtues and resume virtues; he was more blunt.  He said the Catholic Academy was “guilty of athleticism, vocationalism, and anti-intellectualism.”

Of course, we want to get our graduates jobs; we also want them to get to heaven.  For this latter journey, they need to understand truth, appreciate beauty, and work and search for goodness.  Anything less cheats them of what it means to be a learned woman or man.

Just two weeks ago, almost 300 DeSales students gave up a free weekend to host the Special Olympics here in the Lehigh Valley.  Hundreds of them also sacrificed their Spring Break to serve those in need.  Faithful to the call to care for our environment, 100 trees are being planted by students as part of an inauguration initiative.

Like many of you, I watched last week in DC and around the world hundreds of thousands of teens and young people protesting gun violence in the wake of the massacre in Parkland, Florida.  Young Sarah Chadwick challenged our nation’s leaders who remain silent to sensible legislation to curb gun violence.  She said simply to those politicians, “Get ready to get voted out of office by us, the future.”  This was especially encouraging not just because she named herself and her vast peer group as the future.  Rather, she assured us that she and her vast peer group will all vote.  We pray they do and never have such a poor showing at the polls as the millennial generation before them did when fewer than one in five voted in the 2016 election.  Young friends, too many people died for your right to vote; please honor them by exercising that cherished right. 

Finally, the mission of DeSales University:

Our Catholic, Salesian mission is the centerpiece of DeSales University.  Our hope for all of our students is that they fall in love with the ultimate beauty who is God.  And, in the words of Fr. Jerry Schubert, the beloved founder of the theater program here at DeSales, quoting Gerard Manley Hopkins, we need to give beauty back.  This is the beauty of social justice—loving and serving others, especially those in need.

It would be somewhat anachronistic to suggest a sixteenth century bishop like Francis de Sales would have a 21st century social justice ethos, but his notion of unidiverse, as defined on our program cover, calls us to a peaceable, loving coexistence with others who are—in any way—different from ourselves.  Whether this difference is based on how we name God, whom we love, what our national origin is, which language we speak, what color our skin is, for whom we vote, or how much we earn.  These differences add to the rich panoply of delight that illustrates the grandeur of God and the expanse of his grace and goodness.

Higher education in the Salesian tradition connects the pursuit of truth and a commitment to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  It is especially committed to a Christian humanism that reverences every aspect of human experience as being capable of enlightenment by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I find it utterly inspiring that today’s festivities fall on the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  King died because many people could not tolerate the unidiverse of his worldview.  I quote him: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” At his death, President Johnson exhorted our nation to “reject blind violence,” as he hailed the slain religious civil rights leader an “apostle of nonviolence.”

St. Paul proclaims that: “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 47-10). We can best honor Dr. Martin Luther King and continue to forward his legacy by boldly asking God—today and always—to deepen our own commitment to follow His will wherever it leads in the cause of promoting justice.” (USCCB statement)

This is why we cannot be silent to the social issues of our time on this campus! A primary skill we at DeSales can teach each other is the discipline of dialogue.

Pope Francis is an apostle of dialogue, calling for it in two seminal writings of his five-year papacy.  Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Sichampion dialogue as an essential means to peace.  What’s more, his Congregation for Catholic Education last April announced a new vision for Catholic education, where dialogue is the lesson plan that puts the human person at the center of education.  Here in Center Valley, the human person in dialogue with others shall be the centerpiece of all learning.  Such an educational program emerges splendidly from our Catholic intellectual tradition that is rooted in the liberal and creative arts and connected to the sciences and technological pursuits found in business, education, health care, and social service.

In conclusion:

Someone once gave a commencement address at Yale University. He spoke to the graduates: "Our civilization stands at the crossroads. Down one road is despondency and despair. Down the other road is total annihilation. I hope you’ll take the right road."

There is so much cynicism about our future.  I say this directly to all of our students here today:  the education you receive here at DeSales University provides you with an extraordinary opportunity to reimagine the right road to take into your future.  Equipped with the Salesian art of dialogue and understanding of the unidiverse, you can be the change our world needs at this present moment.

I began my remarks today by quoting an Irish poet reminding us that the human soul is hungry for beauty and when we experience the Beautiful we feel immediately at home.  DeSales University is a home that holds all of us together whether student, faculty, staff, or alumni.

The words of our school seal that hangs behind me instruct us well.  They are the words that inspired St. Francis de Sales: Tenui nec dimmitan.  “I have taken hold, and I will not let go.”  He believed that our God grasps our hearts and souls in love and will never abandon us.  My prayer is that we never forget we are held in such a divine embrace – and may we never let go of the ultimate beauty who is God, the master craftsman, in whose image we are fashioned, and who invites us each day to be who we are and be that well!