Mount scholars honored by Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP

November 20, 2013

Newburgh, NY -

Sr. Kennedy

Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, discusses Dominican traditions with some of the Mount’s scholars.

Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, the vice president for Mission and Ministry of Dominican University in Illinois, recently congratulated some of Mount Saint Mary College’s brightest scholars.

Sr. Kennedy, a member of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, was an integral part of Spirit of the Mount Week, which celebrates the Dominican Sisters who began the Mount Saint Mary College community.

Emily BlewInvited by the Catholic and Dominican Institute, Sr. Kennedy presented the college’s Aquinas and Ralph Scholars with their honor cords, to be worn at graduation. Aquinas Scholars are juniors or seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.60. Ralph Scholars are sophomores with a GPA of 3.40 or greater, who have received the recommendation of at least two faculty members.

Right: Emily Blew of Columbus, NJ examines her new honor cord. The black and white cords, the same colors as the Dominican cross, serve as a reminder of the Mount’s motto, “Doce Me Veritatem” (Teach Me the Truth).

Sr. Kennedy discussed the college’s Dominican Heritage, and its tradition of study and academic excellence.

“A tradition is a precious living legacy that gives us our identity,” she explained. “That identity is not dependent on a white habit, but rather on the collaborations of persons who share the vision, who understand the meaning and the history and the grace of the tradition, and who have a similar passion for truth, for study, for contemplation, for community. That’s why you’re here.”

She told the scholars that while they are the beneficiaries of the college’s traditions, it is also up to them to continue those traditions.

“Become men and women who are rooted in, and transformed by, and nurtured from, that transition,” she said. “Tonight we say to you scholars, you’re becoming what we hope you’ll become.”

The Catholic and Dominican Institute, directed by Charles Zola, assistant professor of philosophy, promotes the heritage at Mount Saint Mary College; advances the Dominican charism of study and service; provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues; and enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue.

Recent CDI presentations have included Vatican astronomer Fr. George Coyne, SJ, discussing faith and the stars; author Stephen Mansfield exploring religion’s deep significance to Abraham Lincoln; Dr. Jeffrey P. Bishop, director of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, examining the history of end-of-life care; theologian Fr. Robert Christian, OP, discussing the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council; author Nancy Brown’s lecture on the profound contributions that Pope Sylvester II made to modern mathematics; and a presentation by Sr. Nancy Murray, OP, (actor Bill Murray’s sister) embodying the Dominican saint Catherine of Siena.

Mount Scholars Fall 2013

Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, and college president Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, recently congratulated the Mount’s Ralph and Aquinas Scholars. Front row: Devon O’Brien of Beacon, NY; Angela Wise of Bloomingburg, NY; Sara Baloga of Binghampton, NY; Nicole Havrilla of East Northport, NY; Sr. Kennedy; Fr. Mackin; Stephanie Weaver of Rockville Centre, NY; Rebeka Mitchell of Naugatuck, CT; and Megan Green of Poughkeepsie, NY. Back row: Nicole Speranzo of Montgomery, NY; Jeremias Ramos of Monroe, NY; Joseph Henain of Hopewell Junction, NY; Charles Zola, director of the Catholic and Dominican Institute and assistant professor of philosophy; Allison Cowan of East Hampton, CT; and Emily Blew of Columbus, NJ.