beautiful autumn day • grand procession • giving of gifts • charge to lead greetings from the governor • parable from the bishop • student bagpiper • best wishes from mercy colleges • brass ensemble • praise for the past • call to the future • joyful moments • lovely banquet • celebration for all
In an inaugural ceremony that was both solemn and joyful, Dr. Joseph Lee became our 13th president.
President Lee is the only Maine native to be president of a four-year college in Maine. He is originally from Bath and returned to the state after nearly 40 years in higher education in Massachusetts, New York and Kentucky.
Bishop Richard Malone, Gov. John Baldacci, Standish town manager Gordon Billington and Sister Mary Ann Dillon, RSM, Ph.D., President of Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pa., spoke at President Lee’s inauguration.
Sister Dillon brought the greetings and best wishes of all the presidents of the Mercy colleges and universities. “We Mercy presidents wish you the wisdom of Solomon, the vigor of an Olympian, and a sense of humor that triumphs over all adversity,” she said. “May the spirit of Mercy and a deep trust in God’s providence pervade all that you do as president of Saint Joseph’s College.”
“I am pleased for (Dr. Lee) and excited about the future that is before him and before Saint Joseph’s,” said Gov. John Baldacci, who praised the contributions of the college, citing the thousands of hours of community service performed by its faculty and students. “Saint Joseph’s College brings a richness to the Lakes Region, Greater Portland and all of Maine,” he said.
Bishop Malone called upon Dr. Lee to uphold and deepen Catholic and Mercy identity, warning that some Catholic colleges have become less authentically Catholic. “Remember that you are called, chosen, anointed and graced by God for this responsibility of leadership. You are off to a great start ....You have our prayers and our support.”
In his inauguration speech, Dr. Lee said these are both exciting times and challenging times for the college. He said they are the best of times because of the quality of the faculty, students and alumni, because enrollment has never been better, because of a strong board of trustees, and because of a budget surplus. He said, however, tough times may lie ahead because of rising health and energy costs, because the downturn on Wall Street may threaten endowments and donors, and because of shifting demographics in student markets.
“I now invite you and challenge you to bring our college to new heights. I am convinced by working together and building on our rich past, our future success and our quest for excellence are guaranteed.”
– President Joe Lee
Dr. Lee stressed that while he is there to lead, these are challenges that must be met as a team. “I now invite you and challenge you to bring our college to new heights. I am convinced by working together and building on our rich past, our future success and our quest for excellence are guaranteed.”
During the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Lee was presented with several symbolic gifts including: the college charter, the statement of mission, the college’s core values, the administrative and staff handbook, and a map of worldwide enrollment showing the reach of the college’s online distance learning program.
The feelings of the day may have been best summed up by Michael Reilly, a member of the Department of Facilities Management who represented the staff during the ceremony. He said, “He’s a good Joe and will be great for St. Joe’s.”