A new year is upon us and it is an exciting time to be an Explorer! Pope Francis has declared 2019 a Lasallian Jubilee Year, marking the 300th anniversary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s entrance into heaven, and a wonderful cause for celebration across the Lasallian world. This Tercentenary year invites us to embody the University’s core values – high-impact teaching and learning, a spirit of faith and zeal, service rooted in solidarity and justice, and association. We will accept that invitation by enthusiastically celebrating in various ways ranging from the local to the global.
As La Salle announces itself more boldly across our region and beyond, our focus remains fixed on achieving the critical strategic goals identified in Momentum 2022. Coming on the heels of our two largest freshmen classes in the past quarter-century, cohorts of exceptional diversity and talent, our energies continue to fuel the delivery of a distinctive La Salle experience that supports success and calls upon each student to enter life after La Salle as key change agents committed to our mission. We continue to identify the spires of excellence of a La Salle education, recognizing those academic programs that are uniquely positioned to impact our region and nation. At the same time, we are collaborating on reimagining our sprawling campus in the historic Belfield neighborhood, identifying opportunities to shape a physical canvas that supports our students and colleagues who live, study and work together in this sacred space. We expect the Board of Trustees to approve our newest Campus Master Plan this spring, the culmination of an 18-month process that has engaged faculty, staff, students, alumni, and our Christian Brothers in visioning the next chapter in our campus history.
Notably, La Salle continues to garner recognition for extraordinary outcomes. Rating more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education have again included La Salle in its second annual ‘Top 300’ which examines responses from more than 100,000 current college students on a range of key issues, including engagement with their studies, interactions with their professors, and overall satisfaction with their experiences. Similarly, La Salle was ranked 12th out of almost 100 area schools by the Philadelphia Business Journal for average earnings 10 years after graduation. PayScale has also recognized the earning outcomes of our graduates, ranking La Salle in the top 11 percent nationally for best salary potential. While the meaningful outcomes of a La Salle degree cannot be captured by these metrics alone, they are key indicators of the underlying quality of our educational experience.
As the University’s transformation continues, we must keep all eyes on the future, ensuring that we position La Salle for continued innovation and success. I am grateful for the generosity of our donors and want to take this opportunity to urge each of you to put March 20th in your calendars, La Salle’s 6th annual Day of Giving. Last year, our Explorer community contributed nearly $420,000 on that day, our highest total yet, and brought our five-year Day of Giving impact to more than $1,000,000. I have no doubt that last year’s enthusiastic engagement will carry over into this year’s effort, and I thank all of you in advance for generosity. In the spirit of paying it forward, we recall that “Explorers give because Explorers gave.”
As the days grow longer and spring approaches, let us recall the words of our Founder:
Be satisfied with what you can do,
as this satisfies God,
but do not spare yourself in what you can do
with the help of grace.
Be convinced that, provided you are willing,
you can do more with the help of God’s grace
than you can imagine.
I wish you and your families many blessings, as we continue to forge a path forward for those whom we serve.
Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D.