UARTERLY - College of New Rochelle

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UARTERLY - College of New Rochelle

Dr. Dorothy Brown, Professor of History Emerita of

Georgetown University, centered her remarks on three

Catholic institutions, including The College of New

Rochelle, in the evolution of American Catholic higher

education. In her presentation, Dr. Brown also recalled

visiting CNR two decades ago as a member of a special

Middle States Commission on Higher Education team.

Charged with reviewing the innovative program of our

School of New Resources, she vividly remembered our

model program as embodying “the essence of a liberal

arts curriculum.”

Our final presenter at the Colloquy was Executive

Director of the Middle States Commission on Higher

Education Jean Morse. Ms. Morse approached the

questions proposed by Sr. Bridget from the vantage

point of our accreditation authority, pointing out the

challenges we all experience because of the “public unrest

for higher education.” Ms. Morse outlined the history

of higher education in America and the issues facing all

colleges today. “Colleges,” she said, “not only have to

define and assess liberal arts student learning and other

types of learning but they also need to define and clarify

their institutional goals and get those across to the public.”

AT OUR HEART: DIVERSITY

In February, we returned for the second semester of

our academic year to hear the words of one of America’s

most important public intellectuals, Cornel West, Class

of 1943 University Professor of Religion at Princeton

University.

Dr. West is an old friend of The College of New Rochelle.

We were gifted with his presence at my presidential

inauguration in 1997 when he reminded us all, “Education

is not a shield just to get a job. It’s a quest for wisdom

and a passion of the mind to know and to explore.

Education is not just a process for becoming sophisticated.

It is the cultivation of virtue, especially courage. Both

religion and education are the shaping and holding of

hearts, minds and souls.”

It was deeply moving for us that this man of wisdom

returned to the College to address another of the basic

elements that constitute the bedrock of CNR, and that

is our commitment to diversity.

5

2004 ANNUAL R EPORT / THE C OLLEGE OF N EW ROCHELLE

Dr. West has made it his life’s work to prod and provoke

the conscience of America on such fundamental questions

as race, religion, ethnicity, gender and class identification.

His message is one that celebrates diversity which enlarges

and expands the world of human possibility and reaches

a common ground respecting and embracing but never

fearing or denying the infinite variety of human life.

On a wintry afternoon in Holy Family Chapel, Dr.

West focused his intellect and his gift for language—a

gift inherited from his Baptist minister grandfather and

honed during years of study at the Yale Divinity School

—on an overflow crowd of several hundred faculty and

students, alumnae/i, family and friends of CNR.

Seamlessly weaving the wisdom of Socrates through

the lives of such present day heroes and heroines as

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, Dr. West

explained how Mother Irene Gill and the Ursulines were

all part of the same tradition, and that by opening the

doors to higher education to long-excluded populations,

they made moral and prophetic choices that made a

difference in the world. “A century ago, they had the

audacity to say that the Christian gospel has something

to do with forms of unjustified suffering, unnecessary

social misery, unmerited pain and unwarranted grief.”

Gathered for the opening convocation are New Rochelle Mayor Timothy Idoni,

New York State Lieutenant Governor Mary O’Connor Donohue ’68, CNR

President Stephen Sweeny, honorary degree recipients Avery Cardinal Dulles,

Mary Lyons and Antonio Coello Novello, and CNR Board Chair Jean Baptiste

Nicholson, OSU ’60.

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