Honors Convocation Celebrates Academic Excellence

The Franciscan values of respect, peace and seeking the good in all mankind were among the compelling messages brought to life at the Academic Honors Convocation on November 7, 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 faculty members, Dean’s List recipients and their friends and family who gathered in the Breslin Auditorium on the Lodi campus for the ceremony.

“This is a night to truly celebrate academic excellence,” said Sister Rosita, noting that more than 500 students were on the Spring 2013 Dean’s List, which requires a 3.5 grade point average for the academic term.

Dr. Prisco told those in attendance: “It’s always a pleasure to honor our students, as well as our faculty, and to applaud their efforts, tireless dedication and countless hours of study and hard work. And it is our mission, as a Franciscan community, to provide each individual with the educational opportunities that bring you to your highest potential with informed minds and understanding hearts.”

Dr. Prisco, along with Sister Rosita and Dr. Charles Rooney, executive Vice President, conferred an honorary doctor of Humane Letters upon Father Andre Cirino, who was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

Father Andre, a renowned presenter of the works of Saint Francis, the patron of Felician College, also has led travelers to Francis’ hometown of Assisi, Prague, Germany and the California Missions for Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs. He has many published works on the Franciscan traditions, and shared those messages during his address.

“Only God is good but it must flow through us,” Father Andre told the audience. “That message is the hope of the Franciscan theology – that we always try to speak to the good that is in people, as Francis did.”

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. Sherida Yoder of the English Department.

“Teaching is an art just as poetry is an art,” said Dr. Yoder in accepting the honor. “If one can improve every year, every semester, it’s as high a calling as we can receive.”