By Jack P. Calareso
Fr. Boroughs and members of the College of the Holy Cross community, I am honored to be here today on this auspicious occasion as you inaugurate your 32nd president, and Fr. Philip Borough stakes his rightful place in the community of college and university presidents.
I can tell you without any doubt and with total surety that you have chosen well with the appointment of Fr. Boroughs. In the short time that I have known him, it is clear that he is a man of extraordinary intelligence, incredible experience, amazing energy and limitless compassion. Even more, he is a man of deep faith, unquestionable integrity and a powerful vision. I am pleased to have him as my colleague and you are fortunate to have him as your president.
But I am not here to simply praise Fr. Boroughs; I am here to bring him and all of you greetings from the Colleges of the Worcester Consortium. Unfortunately, I cannot simply honor that request…. because that is not enough.
It is true that Fr. Boroughs and the College of the Holy Cross are a key part of the Worcester Consortium …a fabric woven with private colleges and public institutions, mid-size universities and small colleges … a higher education community that numbers 12 institutions and over 30,000 students. So on behalf of these colleges and universities, their faculty, staff, students, and my colleague presidents … I wish you well as you lead this great institution. … but that is not enough.
It is also true that Fr. Boroughs and the College of Holy Cross are part of the unique and special community of Catholic colleges and universities in America… a community that includes well over 200 institutions and over 1 million students, sponsored by congregations of religious women and men, Catholic dioceses, and all responding to a wide spectrum of educational needs and interests in service to the Common Good.
So on behalf of all of the Catholic colleges and universities, I wish you well as you sustain, promote and actualize the unique Catholic mission of your Jesuit roots … inspired by Bishop Fenwick and begun in this place in 1843 by Fr. Mulledy … but that is not enough.
Because Fr. Boroughs is more than just a Jesuit president, a Catholic college president, a Colleges of the Worcester Consortium president. Today he joins the long and distinguished lineage of all of higher education. The first universities were created in the thirteenth century … and they were all originally Catholic. The medieval European universities were first developed in Italy in Bologna and Padua, in Spain in Salamanca and Alcala, in France in Paris and in England in Oxford.
We are part of a long and rich tradition … a tradition of higher education that has existed for well over 700 years and that owes its birth to the Catholic intellectual tradition … a tradition which we share with all of the great Catholic institutions of the world … a tradition which we celebrate today.
So, in reality, it is only right and, finally, sufficient that I bring Fr. Boroughs and all of you greetings from the Universities of Bologna and Padua in Italy, the Universities of Salamanca and Alcala in Spain, the University of Paris and Oxford University.
Always remember that you are part of a 700 year tradition of excellence in higher education throughout the world … as the president of the College of the Holy Cross, you have joined the first family of higher education… and today we welcome you!
Jack P. Calareso is president of Anna Maria College.
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