Charter Day Celebrates Scholarship
Heads of St. Joseph, Archbishop Molloy, and St. Joseph-by-the-Sea Honored
In an annual celebration of scholarship, St. Francis College honored its best and brightest students, faculty, staff and community partners at the 129th Charter Day convocation on Friday, April 26th.
After an introduction by St. Francis President Brendan, J. Dugan ’68, Zara Mahmud, President of the Duns Scotus Honor Society began the ceremony by calling up each of the new inductees. She offered a brief biography of each person, illustrating not only their academic successes but also their contributions to the community, a vital criterion for admission into Duns Scotus. English Professor Wendy Galgan was also inducted as an honorary member of Duns Scotus.
In addition, the College also awarded Honorary Degrees to three leaders of New York City Catholic High Schools; Sr. Joan Gallagher, Principal, St. Joseph High School (Brooklyn), Mr. Richard Karsten, President, Archbishop Molloy High School (Queens) and Fr. Michael P. Reilly, Principal, St. Joseph-by-the-Sea High School (Staten Island). (Watch the Currents TV story)
The Keynote Speaker & Recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree was the Honorable Edolphus “Ed” Towns who recently retired after 30 years as a congressman from New York’s 10th District in Brooklyn. Towns was introduced by former Chief of Staff Albert C. Wiltshire ’78, a St. Francis graduate. Towns urged the audience to build on the successes that St. Francis College has achieved under the guidance of its past presidents. He told them, “Don’t quit or sit in amazement.”
In celebration of the College‘s continuing strong tie with National Grid, Director Investment Management Francine Kollydas '96, presented a National Grid Scholarship and Internship to Adam P. Bellew ‘15, Tyla Burke ‘14 and Tan Cheung ‘15. They follow in the footsteps of more than 100 St. Francis College graduates who have gone on to work at National Grid including Ken Daly ’88 (President National Grid, New York), Lorraine Lynch ’91 (National Grid Vice President, U.S. Treasury) and Albert Wiltshire who was a Vice President at National Grid’s predecessor, KeySpan.
The College also recognized faculty and staff who have shown dedication and loyalty to St. Francis by working at the College for 15 years. Gifts were presented to Professors Sophie Berman (Philosophy and Religious Studies), Jean Ende (Management & Information Technology), and David J. Gewirtz (Communication Arts) as well as Susan A. Mulderrig (Information Systems).
Charter Day commemorates May 8, 1884, the day the Legislature of the State of New York granted an official Charter to the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Monastery allowing the College to formally award degrees to students. The St. Francis Academy was founded almost thirty years earlier in 1859 by two Franciscan Brothers who were sent to Brooklyn from Ireland with the mission of educating the borough’s working class people.
Duns Scotus Honor Society Inductees
Founded in 1935, the Duns Scotus Society is named for the Blessed Duns Scotus, a Franciscan scholar and champion of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. Election to membership in the Society is based on scholastic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, evidence of loyalty to the ideals of St. Francis College and demonstration of a true Franciscan spirit.
Fatema K. Agag
Sarah M. Anwar
Katharine E. Diehl
Natasha O. Edwards
Mia R. Lentinello
Jennifer Anne McCormick
Tyler Jacob Perkins
Jeannette Fortunata Raymond
Pax et Bonum Medal
Instituted by the Board of Trustees and named from one of the earliest greetings of St. Francis of Assisi, this medal recognizes and honors those members of the faculty who have completed 15 years or more of dedicated, loyal preeminent service at St. Francis College. “Peace and Goodness” is a simple yet meaningful expression of the objective of Franciscan educators.
- Sophie Berman, Chairwoman and Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Jean Ende, Special Lecturer, Management & Information Technology
- David J. Gewirtz, Lecturer, Communication Arts
The President’s Award was instituted in 1972 to honor non-instructional personnel and the significant contribution they make to St. Francis College. The award recognizes administration and staff who have 15 years and 25 years of meritorious service.
- Susan A. Mulderrig, Technical Training Associate, Information Systems
Edolphus “Ed” Towns
Former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns recently retired after 15 terms and 30 years as a Member of the United States House of Representatives from New York’s 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn. During the 112th Congress, his last, Towns served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, serving on three subcommittees: Health; Communications, Technology and the Internet; and Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. He was also the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—the committee he chaired during the 111th Congress.
An ordained minister and professional social worker, Towns founded and chaired the Congressional Social Work Caucus and was actively engaged in several Congressional Caucuses including the Congressional Black Caucus which he chaired in 1991, the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, the Congressional Urban Caucus, the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, and the Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus.
He remains an active proponent of the causes he championed during his years in Congress. Mr. Towns received his Master in Social Work (MSW) degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina and is the recipient of nine honorary doctoral degrees. He is married to Gwen Towns for more than half a century and they have two children, Darryl and Deidra.
Sr. Joan Gallagher, CSJ – Principal, St. Joseph High School
Along with three other Sisters of St. Joseph, S. Joan lives as a member of the Core Community at Providence House II providing hospitality to women and children in need of transitional housing. It is through the day to day living in this community that continues to teach S. Joan the realities of life and that works of charity and justice go hand in hand.
The love of learning led S. Joan to pursue her degree in education. Most of her years in the ministry of education were spent at St. Francis of Assisi School, Brooklyn as teacher and as Assistant Principal. She established a Peer Mediation Program, Peace Garden and took measures to live in a mutually enhancing manner valuing Earth’s resources which included the installation of solar panels on the roof of the school building. S. Joan currently serves as Principal of St. Joseph High School, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY. St. Joseph High School has a long history of providing quality education rooted in gospel values that prepares the young women of today to meet the challenges that will bring about the world of tomorrow.
Mr. Richard Karsten – President, Archbishop Molloy High School
In 2010, Richard Karsten was appointed President of Archbishop Molloy High School. Since he graduated from Molloy in 1981, Richard has been a very active alumnus lending his expertise working on capital campaign “Continuing the Vision” in 1987 and the “Stanners for Life” campaign in 2005. When the school first created the School Board in the 1990s, Richard served as a founding Board Member and provided his leadership for 8 years.
As President Richard possesses a unique perspective having experienced Molloy as a student, alumnus, Board Member and most recently a parent of three Molloy graduates. Working with the faculty, administration and the School Directory, Richard oversees budget & finance, investments, facilities, information technology, capital projects and student recruitment. As the key person responsible for fundraising, he cultivates the financial support that the school needs to assure the future of quality Catholic education in the Marist tradition at Molloy.
Prior to his position as President of Molloy, Mr. Karsten worked in the field of branding, design and communications. For almost 20 years, Richard owned and operated his own creative services firm.
Fr. Michael P. Reilly – Principal, St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School
Fr. Michael Reilly was appointed principal of St. Joseph by-the-Sea in 2009, the latest promotion at the school that began in 1996 when he began as a faculty member. Fr. Reilly also served as Vice Principal/Academic Dean and headed up the school’s Middle States re-accreditation.
Throughout his time as a priest assigned to school work, Fr. Reilly has been energized by a desire to serve the students and families of St. Joseph by-the-Sea by providing them a cutting edge, high quality, affordable education in a Catholic environment.
Under his guidance, Sea’s college program grew to allow students to earn as many as sixty college credits. The building was re-wired to support a complete computer network will soon replace all textbooks and notebooks with iPads.
Fr. Reilly entered St. Joseph Seminary in 1988. He served as parochial vicar in Holy Family on Staten Island and served as acting Athletic Director, Spiritual Director to the Holy Name Society and Ladies of Charity, and Director of a Media Internship program with NewsMax Media.
Fr. Reilly grew up on Long Island and graduated from Chaminade High School and St. John’s University.
Attached photo: (President Brendan J. Dugan ’68 with honorees Fr. Michael Reilly, Ed Towns, Sr. Joan Gallagher, CSJ, and Richard Karsten.)
(Duns Scotus Honor Society members and new inductees.)
(Director of the St. Francis Accounting Master’s Program Geoffrey Horlick, National Grid Director Investment Management Francine Kollydas '96 with scholarship and internship winners Tyla Burke ’13, Adam P. Bellew ‘15, and Tan Cheung ’16 and President Brendan J. Dugan ‘68.)