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Leaders of Lasallian Colleges, Universities Gather for ACCU Meeting

Brothers Michael McGinniss (La Salle University), William Mann (Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota), and Ronald Gallagher (Saint Mary’s College of California)

Presidents and Mission officers of Lasallian colleges and universities joined fellow higher education leadership for the annual meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. The January 27 – 30, 2012 meeting in Washington, D.C. focused on the theme Catholic Higher Education & Culture: Advancing Gospel Values and Cultivating Civility. The meeting tackled controversial subjects including immigration, interfaith dialogue, and pro-life and social justice issues. ACCU also offered a list of ten practical steps campuses can take to promote civility.

The presidents of all six Lasallian higher education institutions attended, along with several Mission officers. Dr. John Smarrelli Jr., president of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN; Brother Michael McGinniss, president of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA; Brother James Gaffney, president of Lewis University in Romeoville, IL; Dr. Brennan O’Donnell, president of Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY; Brother Ronald Gallagher, president of Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga; and Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona were all in attendance. Dr. Margaret McCarty, D. Min., Executive Director of Christian Brothers Conference in Washington, D.C. attended the program as well.

Each year, ACCU honors member institutions that are celebrating major anniversaries. This year, ACCU highlighted Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota as one of four institutions celebrating 100 years. Saint Mary’s was honored for remaining committed to its vision of transforming society, one learner at a time, and meeting learners “where they are.”

The inaugural Mission Officer Conference was held prior to the meeting with sessions on innovative new mission initiatives and more. Lasallian colleges and universities were represented by: Dr. Evelyn McDonald from Christian Brothers University; Dr. Margaret McGuinness from La Salle University; Bro. James Wallace, Dr. John Wilcox, and Dr. Suzanne Wilcox from Manhattan College; Dr. Carole Swain from Saint Mary’s College of California; and Bro. Lawrence Humphrey from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Dr. McCarty attended this portion of the program as well. Dr. John Wilcox, Manhattan College Director for the Center of Lasallian Studies, participated in a panel of mission officers that discusses ways to actualize mission.

Dr. John Wilcox, Dr. Suzanne Wilcox, and Dr. Brennan O’Donnell from Manhattan College

The ACCU, founded in 1899, serves as the collective voice of U.S. Catholic higher education, and offers programs and services to strengthen and promote the Catholic identity and mission of its member institutions.