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Message from the President

by James J. Greenfield, OSFS '84 Nov 20, 2019
Father Jim Greenfield


As you know, our University is named after St. Francis de Sales, our patron. Scholars have asserted that Salesian spirituality, his legacy that allows each of us to live Jesus in our individual state in life, is the result of his friendship and work with a mother and widow, St. Jane de Chantal, who is also the patron of our students living in the residence hall named after her. Together, Francis and Jane founded, in the 17th century, the Visitation of Holy Mary, a religious community of women devoted to prayer and charity, which Jane led and inspired with her example and words. The expression united together by the bond of peace and charity comes from words Jane spoke to the women she was leading. While these words were spoken originally to a group of nuns living in close quarters, they impel us today to be people driven to be our best selves. Now more than ever does our world need peace and charity!

We are pleased to present this year- in-review report through the lens of the theme of unity. Of course, here at DeSales and beyond, we can struggle at times to understand and collaborate together; yet, we work diligently to be united in peace and charity, as our tradition beckons us. The source of our unity at DeSales is our mission: to help students grow to stand for and with others to advance their dignity and serve the common good.

This mission drew the University community together in September for our first Mission Convocation, where a student, professor, and staff member reflected on the meaning of this mission in their lives. Throughout this report you will read clips of their reflections, and I hope you are inspired as we were during the service of song and prayer. What’s more, these words will help to frame the presentation of the solid work of the University: from planning and enrollment to institutional advancement and student life.

Perhaps one of the greatest sources of our unity and charity, which binds us together, is your support for DeSales University. Your friendship to us and your embrace of our mission embolden us to lead our students to achieve, succeed, serve, and learn. Your confidence in us propels us to challenge ourselves anew, prompting us to ask difficult questions, upend our status quo, and innovate for a stronger academic program and student experience. Your ability to stand with us empowers us to stand with our students with an energized hope and rich belief that they are prepared to claim their place in the world as professional, ethical, and compassionate agents of social change through engaged participation in their communities and families. We heartily believe that our students can love and serve more fully because of their DeSales education. Thanks for helping to make that possible, for it advances our shared bond of charity and peace.

I trust you will see in the following pages that this year has been filled with excitement and progress. Again, you have helped to make this possible. Please know that our gratitude is vast for your friendship with us and your faith in our students. My pride in our University is what we can do together, especially through the power of the potential and character of our students. On behalf of these hard-working learners committed to service, honest professionalism, and family life, I thank you.

You are in our prayers, and I ask you to pray for us, for we are united together by the bond of peace and charity.


James J Greenfield OSFS

James J. Greenfield, OSFS ’84, Ed.D.