An inauguration theme is intended to project a vision. To be sure, when I chose “Hope and Help” as the title of my inaugural address last year, I had the future in mind. But hope and help also characterizes very well the fabric Viterbo has worn so well for many years. The feature stories in this issue of Strides are testimony to the work of outstanding faculty, administrators, and staff throughout the years and to the benefactors who unselfishly provide scholarship support to students such as Rachel Thomas and Dan Hale. Their stories put names and faces on one of the four institutional priorities set forth in the strategic plan—access, affordability, and success. (The other priorities are academic distinction, Catholic identity, and enrollment growth.)
The cycle of hope and help will continue in the good work of Dr. Hale, and Rachel and our other Extra Effort Scholarship winners featured in this issue who reach out to help others in need. Access to higher education is readily available to high achievers with assets. For many first generation college students (who will constitute over half of Viterbo’s entering class this fall) and for students of modest means, affordability is a dream breaker. The generosity of alumni and friends offers hope and help to hundreds of students who would otherwise be unable to attend Viterbo. Your support for endowed and annual scholarships puts students on paths to success, highlighted within such feature stories and in the Class Notes section.
Another dimension to hope and help resides in the people working at Viterbo and a number of these individuals are featured elsewhere in this edition of Strides. We extend our best wishes and grateful appreciation to our faculty who will not return due to retirements or other transitions. Thousands of students have been influenced by these gifted teachers; their contributions will continue in the lived experiences of many of our graduates.
My reflections on Pope Benedict’s address in April to Catholic educators have been posted on the Web site and are included within these pages. The Holy Father emphasized the importance of a communal identity and he invited us to move from “I to We.” We share with pride these stories, photos, and news items to preserve and enrich your communal identity with Viterbo. The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration wove into this campus culture a set of values that remain in focus, revealed in the joyful expression of new graduates and in the legacies of retired faculty. Enjoy.
Richard B. Artman