The Inauguration of President Miguel Martinez-Saenz
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St. Francis College to Celebrate 19th President – Jan. 17 - 27

En Español

The words of poet Maya Angelou were the first ones uttered by President Miguel Martinez-Saenz to a standing room only crowd of prospective students and their parents at the St. Francis College Open House in October. They knew, right away, this new president was energized with new ways to engage and educate the entire college community.

(Watch President Martinez-Saenz Perform Still I Rise)

Now, a few months into his tenure as the 19th President in its 160 year history, St. Francis College is proud to announce a series of events celebrating the inauguration of President Miguel Martinez-Saenz.

The ten day celebration begins on January 17, the first day of the spring semester, with the serving of Cuban Sandwiches to students, continues with the observation of International Flag Day, a Day of Mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York, a spoken word concert from Bryonn Bain, and culminates with a Mass and Presidential Installation Ceremony on Saturday, January 27. (See full calendar of inaugural events)

miguel martinez-saenz

A Cuban-American from Florida, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz earned his Master's Degree and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of South Florida. He has more than 17 years of academic and leadership experience. President Martinez-Saenz is a Philosophy Professor with experience as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (Otterbein University); Dean and Associate Provost for Student Success (St. Cloud State University); and Assistant Provost for the First-Year Experience and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (Wittenberg University).

Dr. Martinez-Saenz comes to Brooklyn Heights with his wife Julie Holland and children Caterina and Joaquin. He is a rising academic leader with a dedication to student access, retention and success; supported by a keen understanding of the changing landscape of college education. (Learn more about President Miguel Martinez-Saenz)

"It is very easy for us to say things. It is much more challenging for us to be living examples of our values," said President Martinez-Saenz. "Endeavoring to live mindfully and humanely in a complex and ever-changing world, we should aspire to be living examples of mercy, compassion and hospitality."


The inaugural events reflect the Franciscan mission of the college and the importance of helping others.

On International Flag Day, Thursday, January 18, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams welcomes the St. Francis community to celebrate the rich diversity of the College, a reflection of the entire borough.

The Day of Mentorship on Saturday, January 20 features St. Francis College students, faculty, and administrators mentoring, teaching, and serving as role models for children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York. The day ends with a home Men's Basketball game.

Two spoken word performances by Bryonn Bain, Lyrics from Lockdown will be staged on Thursday, January 25. A Brooklyn-born hip-hop artist and poet, Bain was wrongfully imprisoned in a case of mistaken identity after attending Columbia University and Harvard Law. Now a prison activist, actor, author, educator, and currently a member of the faculty at UCLA, Bain returns to his hometown to deliver his groundbreaking one-man show that confronts America's unresolved conflicts regarding race. Please note, seats are very limited for these performances. Please contact events@sfc.edu for information on availability.

The Inaugural Mass will be held at St. Charles Borromeo Church on Friday, January 26 with The Most Reverend James Massa, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Brooklyn, as the principal celebrant and homilist.

The Presidential Installation Ceremony for President Miguel Martinez-Saenz will be held on Saturday, January 27 with delegates representing colleges and universities from around the country taking part in the ceremony.

More information at sfc.edu/inauguration.

Inaugural Events

  • Wednesday, January 17 - Welcome Back Student Lunch
    • 12:00pm & 5:00pm
  • Thursday, January 18 - International Flag Day
    • 10:00am & 2:00pm
    • 11:00am Group photo taken on steps of Borough Hall
  • Saturday, January 20 - Day of Mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York
    • 1:00pm – 6:00pm
    • Includes 4:00pm Men's Basketball game vs. Bryant Bulldogs
  • Thursday, January 25 – Lyrics from Lockdown: Hip Hop & Spoken Word by Bryonn Bain
    • 11:00am – Performance highlights
    • 6:00pm – Full performance – must reserve tickets via events@sfc.edu
  • Friday, January 26 - Inaugural Mass
    • 3:00pm - St. Charles Borromeo Church
  • Saturday, January 27 - Presidential Installation Ceremony
    • 11:00am - St. Francis College, Founders Hall

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.

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St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201
www.sfc.edu