DECEMBER 2010 | VOL. 11 NO. 4  
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 Deanna I. Howes
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AJCU Campuses Honor Students and Leaders at Winter Commencement Ceremonies

This month, Creighton University, Marquette University, Regis University and the University of San Francisco hosted winter commencement ceremonies where a combined total of over 1,500 students received undergraduate and graduate degrees.

In addition to conferring degrees on students, two institutions honored local and national leaders for their contributions to society. Honorary doctorate degree recipients at Creighton's commencement were the Most Rev. George J. Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha, and General Kevin P. Chilton, commander, United States Strategic Command. The University of San Francisco awarded an honorary doctorate degree to all Catholic women religious, which was accepted on their behalf by Dominican sister and president of the Leadership Conference of Catholic Women Religious (LCWR), Mary Hughes.

AJCU congratulates all degree recipients on their achievements. To learn more about each ceremony, please click on the following links: Creighton, Marquette, Regis and USF.

Marquette University Law School Receives $2 Million Gift to Develop New Public Policy Fund

Earlier this month, Marquette University Law School received a $2 million gift to establish a new fund for research, academic programs and conferences related to public policy.

The Sheldon B. Lubar Fund for Public Policy is named in honor of the donor. Lubar is a native of Milwaukee who founded private investment firm Lubar & Co., and served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

According to Lubar, the fund “…will further establish Marquette Law School as the place that convenes a wide group of individuals to address hard problems, and I look forward to collaborating with them in the future.”

Rockhurst University Students Visit Missouri Senator to Lobby on Behalf of DREAM Act

Two weeks before the U.S. Senate voted on the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act), Rockhurst University students lobbied on its behalf to staff members working for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Representing the Rockhurst organization, VOICES [Voicing Our Ideas Can Ease Suffering] for Justice, students told staff members about a fellow student who recently lost an opportunity to become a legal citizen after her grandfather died. Her experience of facing possible deportation (from a state in which 70% of residents are against immigration reform) prompted them to reach out to Sen. McCaskill and her staff.

In another demonstration of the university’s support for immigration reform, Rockhurst will host a conference on immigration, to be co-sponsored by Rockhurst Campus Ministry and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph from Feb. 4-5, 2011. For more information, please click here.

Saint Joseph’s University Service-Learning Course Pairs Student Journalists with Jesuits

This fall, students at Saint Joseph's University who were enrolled in a service-learning course on writing received an assignment appropriate for the Jesuit institution: to interview a retired Jesuit on-campus and record his responses in his memoirs.

Assistant Professor Jenny Spinner, Ph.D. developed this ongoing assignment to help students become better writers, but also to become more patient and compassionate, two traits that would be necessary for the students to become peer tutors at the university's Writing Center.

Students who participated in the course also found that the course helped them better understand the lifestyle of a Jesuit. Junior Emily Buccieri said, “I’ve learned what it’s like to be a Jesuit. This has helped me understand the mission of the University and the amazing people behind it."

Saint Peter’s College Professor Shares Thanksgiving with International Student Community

Students enjoy an all-American Thanksgiving dinner
Photo courtesy of Saint Peter's College
Last month, for the 26th consecutive year, a professor at Saint Peter's College invited international students from the institution to his home to celebrate Thanksgiving. A record 59 people attended the dinner, hosted by David S. Surrey, Ph.D., chairman of the college's Sociology and Urban Studies Department.

The dinner provided an opportunity for students not from the United States to learn about this uniquely American holiday and its history and traditions. Many members of the Saint Peter's community helped prepare for the event by donating food for dinner and arranging vans for student transportation to and from his house.

In addition to learning about Thanksgiving from local Americans, guests shared stories and holiday traditions from their native countries, including Nepal, Jamaica and Germany. Highlights of the meal included two 20-lb turkeys, tons of stuffing and 14 pies.