NEWBURGH, N.Y. – July 2016 – Faculty and staff from Mount Saint Mary College recently presented at the 14th Biennial Colloquium of Dominican Colleges and Universities.
Hosted at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., the colloquium provided faculty, students, and professionals of Dominican colleges and universities the opportunity to reflect on the rich heritage of the Dominican Order – which is currently celebrating 800 years of faith and fellowship – and discuss important issues presented in Catholic Dominican higher education.
Members from the Mount community who presented papers at the colloquium were:
- Academic coaches Patrick Duffy and Megan Morrissey: “What Are Your Strengths? Holistic Advisement for Student Development and Success”
- Gina Evers, director of the Mount’s Writing Center: “Writing and the Dominican Charisms”
- Charles Zola, director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute, philosophy division chair, and associate professor of philosophy: “Is Aquinas Still Relevant Today?”
- Zola and Barbara Petruzzelli, director of the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center: “Dominicans and Benedictines in Collaboration: Integrating the Saint John’s Bible and the Dominican Charism”
Also in attendance was Ilona M. McGuiness, the Mount’s vice president for Academic Affairs.
“I found it inspiring to see how the Dominican charisms are manifested in the work of other Dominican institutions and to realize how much we all have in common,” noted Petruzzelli. “The experience really opened my eyes to how the Kaplan Family Library can – and in many ways already does – put the charisms into practice.”
Zola noted that there’s much from the colloquium that he plans on sharing with his students. For example, “The great scholars in the Dominican tradition still have relevance to the issues and topics that we face today, especially St. Thomas Aquinas’s appreciation for Jewish and Islamic scholarship, but also his commitment to Catholic intellectualism.”
One of the strengths of the colloquium was its diversity, explained Evers.
“The Colloquium was incredibly inclusive and affirming of all voices and perspectives, and that was reflected in the work of other faculty and staff members presenting from the 18 Dominican schools,” she said. “Attending the colloquium was an external, positive reinforcement that we are providing opportunities for our students to discover their own truths.”
The Mount presenters were also proud to display the college’s recently completed quilt commemorating the 800th Jubilee of the Dominican Order. From faculty and staff to students and alumni, members of the Mount community joined forces to create the piece, which celebrates the rich history and charisms of the Dominican Order and honors the Mount’s connection.
The quilt was inspired by the art of the Saint John’s Bible – the first handwritten and illuminated Bible produced in more than 500 years. Through a sharing program with St. John’s University, the Mount community has enjoyed living and learning with two fine art reproduction volumes of the Saint John’s Bible over the last academic year.
The Dominican Sisters founded Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. in 1959, using as a guideline the four pillars of Dominican life: study, prayer, service, and community.
St. Dominic established the first community of the Order of Preachers in the 13th century.
The Jubilee Quilt was created under the direction of Laura Nicholls, Mount Desmond Campus art instructor, certified calligrapher, and former art teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas College and in the Nanuet Public Schools. The project was co-sponsored by the Catholic and Dominican Institute and the Saint John’s Bible Planning Team.
For more information, visit www.msmc.edu