Hundreds Honor New St. Francis College President
Hundreds of students, faculty, staff as well as elected officials and religious leaders attended the culmination of a week-long celebration, Thursday, October 2 marking the inauguration of Brendan J. Dugan as the 18th President of St. Francis College.
The pomp and circumstance of the inaugural convocation began with internationally renowned pianist Jeffrey Swann playing as a procession of more than 100 professors, Board of Trustee members, academic leaders and honored guests entered Founders Hall. The Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio offered the opening invocation and was one of many who wished Mr. Dugan well as he embarks on his new career leading the 150 year old institution. (Watch President Dugan’s Inaugural Address)
Jamaal Womack, President of the Student Government Association and Captain of the Men’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball team, Dr. Geoffrey Horlick, Chairman of the Accounting and Business Law Department and Josephine Savastano ’87, a St. Francis Alumna and Market President of Sovereign Bank brought greetings to President Dugan as representatives of the College’s Students, Faculty and Alumni.
Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Houlihan was the Master of Ceremonies which included two musical compositions, Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Opus 31 by Frederic Chopin and the three part Fantasiestucke, Op. 72 (Fantasy Pieces) by Robert Schumann. Jeffrey Swann played both of these pieces with David Bakamjian on cello for the second piece.
As new President of the College, Mr. Dugan, who spent 40 years working in the Banking industry most recently as Chairman and CEO of Metro New York / New Jersey Division of Sovereign Bancorp, was presented with three wooden maces carved by Brooklyn Artist Carole Hallé representing Corporation, Faculty, and Students. The maces are symbols of the authority and independence of a chartered college and were presented by Brother Leonard Conway, O.S.F. ’71, Vice Chairman of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees and Principal of St. Francis Preparatory High School, Dr. Francis Greene, Chairman of the department of Foreign Languages, Fine Arts, and International Cultural Studies and moderator of the College’s Duns Scotus Honors Society, Dean of Students Cheryl Howell.
Brother William Boslet, O.S.F. ’70, Superior General of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn presented President Dugan with a San Damiano Cross and explained its origins as the cross St. Francis prayed before in the twelfth century. The original hangs in St. Clare Church in Assisi, Italy.
Frank J. Macchiarola ’62, the College President proceeding Mr. Dugan and now the Chancellor of St. Francis presented President Dugan with the Charter of the College, originally granted by the New York State Legislature in 1884.
Board of Trustees Chairman John F. Tully ’67 then formally installed Mr. Dugan as President. Earlier he announced the creation of the Anne and Brian Dugan Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of Mr. Dugan’s parents and in honor of the occasion. The scholarship was established by a group of Franciscan Brothers who live in the Residence Hall adjacent to the College.
President Dugan’s address spanned the 150 years of history of the College, looking back to Brothers John McMahon and Vincent Hayes who first opened St. Francis Academy in 1859 and established the Franciscan Principles that brought Mr. Dugan to the College first as a student and now as its newest President. He described the caring and compassionate community at St. Francis that has turned out countless successful graduate working in fields as varied as banking, finance, accounting, philosophy, education and law. Mr. Dugan pointed to alumni who hold positions at the CIA, the NFL, Major League Baseball and the U.S. House of Representatives.
He also noted the civil service commitment of St. Francis graduates, “Just as a snapshot and indication of the impact we have had on our city, on that horrible day, September 11, 2001 there were many alumni called to action, some whom made the supreme sacrifice. But what is noteworthy in reflecting the call to community service is that there were many of our alumni who responded to the tragedy and chaos in different ways including those in leadership roles; the Acting Head of the FBI, the New York City Fire Commissioner, the Director of the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the 1st Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department and the 1st Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, every one, an alumnus of the College.”
After the convocation, attendees were taken to the Brooklyn Navy Yards’ Steiner Studios for a final celebration luncheon. The Most Reverend Bishop Thomas V. Daily, who served as the Bishop of the Brooklyn Diocese from 1990 to 2003 offered Grace and Ed Travagliatni ‘70, President of Commerce Bank, Long Island and long-time friend of Mr. Dugan, toasted the new College President.
Earlier in the week, the events began with an academic symposium, Ethical Dimensions of the Professions: Medicine, Law & Higher Education which featured three panels of St. Francis College alumni, each hosted by a College faculty member.
Roy Reardon, ’51, J.D., Partner, Simpson Thacher, who among his other accomplishments represented disabled golfer Casey Martin before the Supreme Court in Martin’s successful bid to ride a golf cart while competing in PGA events and Thomas Killeen, ’69, J.D., Partner, Farrell Fritz who is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court and whose pro bono activities include working for the Catholic Charities Volunteer Lawyer Initiative and serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation discussed many of the ethical questions that face lawyers, including conflicts of interests, their relationships with clients and the obligation to give back to the community. (Watch the Legal Symposium)
Sean Fanelli, ’66, Ph.D., President, Nassau Community College and Robert Hannafin, Ph.D. ’76, of PriceWaterhouseCoopers discussed ethical issues that ranged from who should be admitted to College to the level of resources which should be devoted to student-athletes. (Watch the Education Symposium)
Charles Garbarino, ’74, M.D., Pediatrician and Senior Physician with New Jersey National Guard, recent graduate and Pediatrician Alexander Arroyo, ’98, M.D., and Judy Ashton, ’06, RN, an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the College talked about topics ranging from doctors working with patients who have conducted internet research to genetic testing by insurance companies to gauge future health risks. (Watch the Medical Symposium)
Following the Symposium, President Dugan and several other College administrators scooped ice cream for an informal Ice-Cream Social with hundreds of students in the newly renovated school cafeteria.
Wednesday, an inaugural mass was held at The Cathedral Basilica of St. James at Jay Street and Cathedral Place. The Most Revered Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn was the principal celebrant and delivered the homily. Monsignor John Strynkowski, Rector of St. James assisted the Bishop and was joined by numerous area clergy including Bishop Daily and Bishop Joseph Sullivan as well as several Franciscan Brothers. Choir members from the Oratory Church of Saint Boniface, led by Dennis B. Delaney, Director of Music at the Oratory, and accompanied by James Smith, organist of St. James Basilica performed during the mass. Dr. Michael Kaminski of the St. Francis Fine Arts Department and professional concert organist treated early arrivers to the mass to a special organ prelude.
St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201