I wanted to take this opportunity to inform all of our interested friends and donors about some of the many blessings and achievements experienced at our College throughout this past year.
In the academic arena, Christendom was awarded full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is a major accomplishment and means Christendom has met rigorous academic standards and, importantly, did so without sacrificing or compromising our Catholic identity and mission.
In May the College graduated its largest class in history – 73. At the graduation ceremony, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) gave the commencement address (I’ll never forget how the students interrupted my introduction THREE TIMES to give this man a well-deserved standing ovation) and received Christendom’s Pro Deo et Patria Medal for distinguished service to God and Country.
In September we set a new record for undergraduate student enrollment – 370. You might be interested to learn that the mid-range SAT test scores of our incoming freshman places Christendom FOURTH among all Catholic colleges and universities in the country!
Christendom was once again ranked among the top 125 colleges in the country in ISI Books’ newly-revised 2004 guide, “Choosing the Right College.” In its appraisal of the College, ISI noted that the College’s 84-hour core curriculum “goes far beyond what even many ‘good’ liberal arts colleges require. … With an all-encompassing vision of the liberal arts driving the curriculum, the faculty and administration are at pains to create an educational experience in which each course, major, and rule for community life contributes to an integrated Catholic worldview.”
And in the area of spirituality, we conducted two pilgrimages to Rome in 2003. The first was a 9-day Lenten pilgrimage in March where students met with Pope John Paul II, as well as Cardinals Stafford, Schotte, and Ratzinger. The second was this past October for the Beatification of Mother Teresa.
In addition to expanding Eucharist Adoration every Monday through Friday from 12 noon to 4:45 p.m., students can participate in all-night Eucharistic Adoration the First Friday of every month. This has become an increasingly popular devotion among the students. I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to see so many college students spend their Friday night on their knees in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament!
And lastly, from an operations aspect, our St. John the Evangelist Library is on track to be completed in June 2004. This 43,000 sq. ft building will house over 150,000 volumes and will include a state-of-the-art computer center and several classrooms. The domed entrance is truly exquisite and I look forward with great joy to the dedication of the library on September 18.
Although not an exhaustive list, hopefully you can get a feel for the kind of educational experience we offer at Christendom. And none of this would be possible without our thousands of faithful supporters and donors. Thank you for your time and may God bless you.
Dr. Timothy T. O’Donnell, President