When I talk to Saint Joseph’s College alumni, over and over again, I hear a similar story of personal growth and transformation. And while there are always wonderful differences in their stories, the shared experience of their time spent on campus or in the online community, generates a pattern. Alumni speak of entering the community with hope, expectancy, and uncertainty. Is this the right place for me? Do I have what it takes to succeed? Am I certain about my goals and aspirations? Their stories end with delight at what they have accomplished, in the classroom, on the field of competition, and—more generally—in life. The earlier questioning of self is replaced with a wonderful confidence in what has been accomplished and, more importantly, what additional accomplishments lie ahead.
How did these personal transformations, these journeys in the Saint Joseph’s community occur? The answer is profoundly simple and important. It was the people at Saint Joseph’s who welcomed them, who challenged them, who were there for them in moments of challenge, and who celebrated with them in moments of success—the faculty, coaches, advisors, classmates, Sisters of Mercy, administrators, alumni, and staff members. In short—everyone. All that we accomplish is the result of all of the interactions and encounters we have with people. This has always been a core part of the Saint Joseph’s College experience. Whether we think of it as “giving back” or “paying it forward,” this wonderful spirit of compassion and generosity shines through all that we do and can be seen clearly and prominently in these individual stories of growth and transformation, some of which you will read in this issue.
Saint Joseph’s College has its own story of growth and transformation. And, perhaps not surprisingly, our institutional narrative fits the pattern found in the stories of individuals. Over the course of our first century, the Sisters of Mercy faced many moments of uncertainty, beginning with the decision to found the College in 1912. The College’s wonderful motto—Fortitudo et Spes (Courage and Hope)—captures well the spirit that has motivated the continuing development of our College at the key moments of moving to Sebago Lake, enrolling men for the first time, and beginning a distance learning program. These are just a few examples of the many occasions when the College looked into its own heart and, bolstered and encouraged by many people, decided to accept that next challenge.
Sustaining the Promise: the Strategic Plan for Saint Joseph’s College identifies an exciting pathway for the continuing transformation of our College.
This issue of the magazine shares articles about how the College continues to be a place where people can discover and then tell their own stories. Whether they’re giving back or paying it forward, these individual stories—and our collective story—capture what’s special about Saint Joseph’s College.
President James Dlugos