The Franciscan values of respect, service, peace and joy, and how they become integrated in the educational experience were among the compelling messages brought to life at the Academic Honors Convocation on March 12, which celebrated excellence in the classroom by students and faculty alike.
Felician College President Dr. Anne Prisco and Sister Mary Rosita Brennan, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, greeted the audience of more than 120 faculty members, 560 Dean’s List recipients and their friends and family who gathered in the John J. Breslin Jr. Auditorium in Obal Hall on the Lodi campus for the ceremony.
“This is a night to truly celebrate academic excellence,” said Sister Rosita. “And this is the first time our new president Dr. Prisco will be presiding over the events. We hope hers will be a long tenure at Felician College.”
The keynote speaker was Sister Mary Beth Ingham who received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Sister Mary Beth is a professor of theology at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California. She is a renowned presenter and speaker on the works of scholar John Duns Scotus, who studied and wrote numerous texts on Franciscan moral theology.
“You are taking your place in a tradition that goes back more than 800 years,” Sister Mary Beth said during her address, referring to Franciscan values. “It is through this formation of understanding hearts and caring compassion that you can make a difference.”
“Education here at Felician College is the door to human transformation of lifelong learning,” she said.
Dr. Prisco told the many students in attendance that they should give thanks and recognize their friends and family who helped support their efforts. “This is what makes us stronger, this is what being part of a community is all about,” said Dr. Prisco.
Among the other highlights of the evening were the musical selections by the Felician College choir and the presentation by Sister Rosita of the Faculty Excellence Award, which was given to Dr. George Abaunza of the Philosophy Department.
The Academic Honors Convocation was one of the week long events of Dr. Prisco’s Inauguration Week. She will be formally installed on Friday, March 15.