Lasallian education had a prevalent role at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), themed “Mission, Myth, and Money: Securing Catholic Higher Education for the Future.” The ACCU welcomed the increased Lasallian presence as part of the celebration of the Tercentenary, the 300th anniversary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s entry into eternal life.
Led by the mission officers at the six Lasallian colleges and universities in the United States, along with Bethlehem University in Palestine, the more than 500 meeting attendees learned about the Lasallian mission through the following efforts:
- Each participant received a Lasallian prayer card, along with a flier highlighting the International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU), Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the Year of Lasallian Vocations.
- Dr. James Donahue, president of Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, led the entrance procession for the opening Mass, and an image of a stained glass window from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, featuring Saint La Salle was projected on a screen during the Mass.
- Brother Ernest Miller, FSC, vice president for mission at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offered the invocation at the opening banquet.
- Dr. Kurt Schackmuth, vice president for mission at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, offered the blessing before Sunday’s luncheon.
- Lasallians in attendance taught participants “Let Us Remember,” the traditional Lasallian opening to prayer, which was used several times throughout the gathering.
- Several Lasallian presidents and mission officers participated in the opening Lasallian prayer service.
- Dr. Colleen Hanycz, La Salle University president, and Dr. Natalia Imperatori-Lee, associate professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, led the prayer and offered a reflection, respectively, as part of the opening activities on Sunday.
- Dr. Maureen O’Connell, chair of religion and theology at La Salle University, offered two presentations.
- Dr. David Livingston, Lewis University president, and Dr. Hanycz participated in panels and presentations.
- The Lasallian tercentenary logo was featured in the Annual Meeting program booklet.
- Dr. Brennan O’Donnell, president of Manhattan College, led the meeting planning committee, and Dr. Livingston served on the committee. Brother Jack Curran, FSC, vice president for mission at Manhattan College, served on the Mission Officers Pre-Conference Planning Committee.
- Collectively, higher education shared well wishes for retiring ACCU President Michael Galligan-Stierle. (See page 21 of the commemorative book).
The ACCU Annual Meeting took place February 2-4 in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1899, the ACCU has nearly 200 members and serves as the collective voice of U.S. Catholic higher education. Bethlehem University, Palestine; Christian Brother University, Memphis, Tennessee; La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois; Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York; Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga; and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona, are all members of ACCU.