Some things change, while others stay the same. In academia, one of those constants is commencement. The significance of donning my regalia—a crisp blue gown with its four distinctive bars across each sleeve—is never lost on me.
This year was not like previous years. A public health crisis spurred by a global pandemic reshaped our daily routines and, in some cases, our annual rites of passage.
While the decision to postpone Commencement generated great disappointment, I have chosen to look toward the positives. As I write this at the beginning of May, I have drawn considerable inspiration over these last several months from the social media posts and email messages I have seen from our students and their parents and families. Our community was not clamoring for La Salle University to move its operations online; rather, they were inquiring about when they could return. Our students see their professors as their academic guides, staff members as difference-makers, and their classmates as motivational figures. For them, being away from La Salle meant losing access to a place with transformative properties.
Every Explorer embodies La Salle—whether they are on- or off-campus, current students or alumni. The transformative potential of a La Salle degree will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
In November, Georgetown University analyzed data from 4,500 colleges and universities in the United States. Its study ranked La Salle in the top-4 percent nationally in mid-career earnings of our alumni, while also placing La Salle in the top-6 percent for our degree’s lifetime return on investment and top-10 percent nationally for lowest debt incurred by our students.
These numbers amount to one of the strongest value propositions in higher education. That’s who we are. That won’t change.
In January, we received word that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching had once again awarded La Salle with the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.
This recognizes us for our commitment to sharing resources,
creating partnerships, and exchanging knowledge
to support community engagement.
This, too, is who we are. And that won’t change, either.
In this edition of La Salle Magazine, you will read plenty about who we are—Lasallians who are leading the way. For example, School of Business students are receiving a highly coveted and well-regarded sales training that will position them for career success. Students from our School of Nursing and Health Sciences participated in a unique interdisciplinary health care initiative to better treat complex medical needs.
Like our students, universities are marked by change—where they have been and where they are headed. Here at La Salle University, our path is charted and the tools we need for reaching our destination are in hand. Sometimes, our path is circuitous and marked with detours. Explorers find themselves on maps of their making, because Explorers are never lost.
The long-term effects of this pandemic on higher education will be felt for years to come. We are committed to protecting the health and wellness of our community and making sure La Salle is well-positioned on the other side of this crisis to continue to serve our students. St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.