The Catholic University of America
August 30, 2016

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THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA 
Office of the President
 
Just a few days ago a “Welcome Class of 2020” banner hung outside Mullen Library.  Orientation Advisors, members of the Alumni Association, and dedicated members of the University’s staff scurried under the banner helping to situate our freshman and transfer students in their new home.
 
As I looked at the banner, I thought about the significance of the term “20/20,” which we use colloquially to speak of perfect vision.  The goal of education, scholarship, research, and teaching, in the end, is to see things more clearly, to see the truth of things.  Over the summer many members of our distinguished faculty worked on scholarly projects in their fields.  They’ll bring their discoveries and insights into the classroom this fall. 
 
Some of our faculty joined students on summer trips to see their subjects from a global perspective.  Our law students travelled to Italy, our architecture students to Japan, and undergraduates from several schools went to the U.S.-Mexico border to study the complexity of immigration.  From our work with NASA to the National Institutes of Health, this is a remarkable research institution and place of higher learning.
 
Our educational endeavor and our community activities are ultimately directed toward the vision of eternal things, to seeing God.  This year our arts will move us toward the transcendent; our student-athletes will be a visible sign of the value of hard work; our Christian service will make God’s mercy incarnate.
 
In just a few short weeks we will officially open our Center for Cultural Engagement, located in the Pryzbyla Center.  The Center will continue the mission and activities of the intercultural program, but it will expand the scope of cross-cultural communication and awareness on our campus.  What could be better for perfecting our collective vision than to see the diversity of God’s creative work through different cultures?
 
Good friendships are essential in shaping the way we see things. We aim to foster them in residence halls, through campus ministry, student activities, community events for faculty and staff, and among alumni at regional events and Homecoming. We hope that Murphy’s, our new space for student recreation and dining, will be a place where friendships are nourished.  You can expect to see Jeanne and me there, and we’d love for you to join us.
 
I encourage you to follow and share the stories about our community which appear on our new website and digital platforms this year.  We aim to give the wider world a view into our campus. This is a place the world needs to see.
 
My hope is that the University motto becomes our guide in all our endeavors this year: Deus Lux Mea Est, “God is My Light.”  His light will help us to see all things clearly.  Have a great start to the school year.
 
 

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