MESSAGE FROM HNU PRESIDENT MIKE GROENER:
I sincerely hope that this issue finds you well as we continue to face the formidable COVID-19 pandemic together. I am thankful for the strong and compassionate community at Holy Names University, a community that both leans on one another and takes the lead to improve the lives of others.
The theme of this HNU Today magazine is “Soaring Toward Justice” which is the second half of Holy Names University’s theme for the academic year, “Stronger Together: Soaring Toward Justice.”
As I write this letter, I reflect on a year full of momentous disruption and change. While we still face extraordinary challenges, I am energized by the fact that institutions of higher education like HNU are critical players in addressing the urgent needs of our time. As a university, it is our work to respond to calls for deeper civic engagement and for racial justice that is long overdue.
As the president of Holy Names University, it is my privilege to lead a campus community taking action to address systemic racism. The police killings of Black Americans this year have made it impossible to ignore the impacts of over four hundred years of systemic oppression in our country. My cabinet and I have joined in this moment of reckoning for our nation, as we reflect on our role in systemic racism, and carry out our Anti-racism Action Plan. From institutionalizing anti-bias training to reading groups and a speaker series on the topic of how we co-create an anti-racist society, this work is critical to sustaining our mission and is embraced by faculty, staff, and students, who have also taken initiative themselves.
As you’ll read in this issue, HNU’s new Academic Strategic Plan is in alignment with this Action Plan and includes the launch of a robust Ethnic Studies program. HNU will develop curriculum that reflects the cultures, experiences, and interests of our students—a direct response to student activism at HNU.
And on the topic of students, I highly recommend the stories of our student leaders in the Black Student Union in this issue—Shaniah Ritzie and Diamond Allen—and of our alumni, who never cease to amaze me. They are Holy Names University, and their lives honor the legacy of our Foundresses.
I hope you enjoy this issue,
President, Holy Names University