SLU Hosts Jesuit University Higher Ed Leadership Gathering
Representatives from Jesuit universities recently came together on the Saint Louis University campus for the U.S. Central and Southern (UCS) Province Higher Ed Leadership Gathering.
Provincial Thomas P. Greene, S.J., and other UCS Province leaders met with university presidents, provosts, mission officers, and rectors on Jan. 13-14 in DuBourg Hall’s Pere Marquette Gallery, where they discussed key priorities for higher education.
"It was a privilege to host leaders from higher education institutions across the Central & Southern Province of the Society of Jesus. Community is central to our identity as Jesuit universities,” said SLU President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D. “This meeting provided an essential opportunity to hear our Provincial's priorities, share experiences, and identify ways that we can better collaborate to advance our common mission and shared goals."
The gathering was designed as an opportunity to foster the relationships between university and province leadership and to share information on Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) formation initiatives and programs.
“The annual meeting of the Central and Southern Province university leaders typically provides opportunities to share best practices and to develop and deepen professional relationships,” said David Suwalsky, S.J., Ph.D., vice president for mission and identity. “This year our meeting was especially important as so many of the schools have new leaders managing the challenges confronting higher education today."
All six colleges and universities in the UCS Province were represented at the meeting. In addition to SLU, the gathering was attended by Loyola University New Orleans, Regis University, Rockhurst University, Spring Hill College and St. Johns College Belize.
During the gathering, Thomas Curran, S.J., gave a presentation on the Jesuit Prison Education Network (JPEN), where he serves as coordinator, and thanked SLU for its leadership in bringing Jesuit education to incarcerated individuals for the past 15 years.
In addition to the two days of meetings, the group of leaders also attended a Mass celebrated in SLU’s Jesuit Center, the new home of Jesuits missioned as professors, pastors and staff members at Saint Louis University.
“I am grateful to SLU and in particular President Pestello and Fr. Suwalsky for hosting this meeting,” Fr. Greene said. “The Society’s mission in higher education remains strong, but these HELG meetings provide me with me an opportunity to express my gratitude to our university leadership and to update them on the state of the province. It also allows colleagues from our six universities to strengthen relationships and to share the joys and challenges of their profession.”