Christendom College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell launched the college into the next decade with his annual opening address on Monday, January 20, encouraging students to dare to be great and “make a difference” in today’s turbulent, secular culture.
“It takes courage to swim against the riptide of our secular culture,” said O’Donnell in his address to students, faculty, and staff. “There is great work to be done here in our community and in our troubled, beautiful world. Have joy and have confidence that you can make a difference.”
During his address, O’Donnell pointed to St. Paul as an inspiration for our times. Even when beaten and imprisoned, he proudly rose up to proclaim Christ, changing history forever as a result. While today’s secular culture may seem daunting, students have the ability to change the world as well, armed with their education and their faith.
“Your academics and formation here are challenging you to dare to be great — don’t settle for mediocrity. Our Lord has a dream for you, a dream that will lead to your happiness,” said O’Donnell. “You have the opportunity in this new year to choose the good, to choose what is true, and to embrace the beautiful. It will lead to your happiness and help you become the person you were meant to be.”
Before his reflection, O’Donnell also provided updates to the campus community, mainly related to construction of the new Christ the King Chapel. Steel framing of the cross tower is set to be finished this week, with steel framing for the Our Lady’s Chapel section set to begin soon after. At the end of the month, the last beam of steel will be raised up for the cross tower, which will be marked with a special ceremony by Hoar Construction.
Stained glass windows are well underway as well for the Chapel, with the first window — of St. John Bosco — nearly complete. Once it is finished, it will be brought to campus and displayed in the college’s main administrative building, Regina Coeli Hall, for students and visitors interested in seeing what these new windows will look like.
In other news, O’Donnell announced two college speakers for the spring: pro-life activist Abby Johnson for the college’s Major Speaker series in April, and popular radio host Patrick Madrid for the college’s Commencement Address in May. O’Donnell also announced one staff update: the return of former public relations specialist Zach Smith, who will now be taking on the role of associate director of marketing & communications for the college.
To conclude, O’Donnell also announced that the college’s admissions office is reporting that deposits and acceptances are up for the fall of 2020, along with a huge response for the Experience Christendom Summer Program — so far double the response over last year.