St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, inaugurated D. Gregory Main as its 15th president on March 30. During his inaugural address, President Main remarked that, during his tenure, St. Gregory’s will serve students in the spirit of Ex corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education.
Main noted his awe for the St. Gregory’s presidents who came before him and offered a prayer that he could also serve “ensuring that Oklahoma will have a vibrant, thriving Catholic university.”
Especially worthy of mention is the suggested plan that Main outlined during his address, to “maintain and strengthen” St. Gregory’s Catholic identity.
From the inaugural address:
If I am to succeed in my quest to make a difference, we will ensure that St. Gregory’s, well into the future, will be a vibrant, thriving Catholic university which honors the Catholic and Benedictine learning traditions that define who we are, while serving traditional students in an on-campus, residential college, as well as adults in accelerated graduate and undergraduate programs delivered in classrooms and on-line. We’ll do so in the spirit of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Blessed Pope John Paul II’s, Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Higher Education. …
We happen to be the only Catholic higher education institution in Oklahoma, an important distinction we must maintain and celebrate. Recently the Way Forward Group, an advisory body, has been studying ways of broadening and deepening the relationship between St. Gregory’s University and the Catholic Church in Oklahoma. Part of their work has been focused on the University’s Catholic identity. They identified a number of ways to maintain and strengthen our Catholic identity; I want to share a few of their suggestions today:
• St. Gregory’s must adopt a straightforward presentation of its “public face” as a Catholic university that is inclusive of those from other traditions;
• St. Gregory’s should maintain a “critical mass” of Roman Catholics in its student body and among the faculty and staff;
• The Theology department of St. Gregory’s University should become a “flagship” department among the academic departments;
• The underlying Catholic/Christian world view should be a privileged voice in the ongoing conversation of the institution’s identity and operations;
By adopting these and the other recommended practices we will continue to be a distinctively Catholic University.
Dr. Main’s complete address is available here.
St. Gregory’s University is promoted in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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