President Miguel Martinez-Saenz Speaks With Students at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School
Ft. Greene, Brooklyn – May 10, 2019 – Last Wednesday, St. Francis College President Miguel Martinez-Saenz met with students at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School to speak with them about the importance of lifelong learning and of exercising the necessary focus and determination to ensure they actualize the lives they envision for themselves.
Martinez-Saenz emphasized that while it is undeniably important to strive to "make a living" one must remain steadfastly focused on "making a life."
This visit is part of Martinez-Saenz's commitment to connect New York City high school students directly with leadership from institutions of higher education.
"We [St. Francis College leadership] want to build comprehensive relationships with high schools. That means leadership needs to come into these spaces," said Martinez-Saenz, when asked about the rationale for the visit. "When students see a college president come into their class, they feel valued. Part of what we need to do is be vessels for hope. We do that by being present."
"These high school visits keep reminding us of what we're trying to do."
Hector Batista, the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of Bishop Loughlin and of St. Francis College ('84), joined President Martinez-Saenz on his visit to the school,
"The connection between Loughlin and St. Francis is Loughin is a small high school, where everyone knows one another," said Batista. "There's a lot of nurturing at Loughlin. It's a really great educational environment where people really care about you. I think St. Francis College is similar to that. It provides students a support mechanism. It helped me really stay focused on what I needed to do to be successful. I have such a love for both institutions."
During last Wednesday's visit, President Martinez-Saenz, who earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of South Florida, gave a "college-style" lecture to a Senior Economics class and a Junior English class, during which he challenged students to grapple with philosophical distinctions between right and wrong, among other lessons.
Starting his tenure at St. Francis in August 2017, President Martinez-Saenz is shepherding the 160 year-old college, a fixture in its Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, through a transformative chapter. A Cuban-American with 17 years of academic and leadership experience, President Martinez-Saenz is committed to three major pillars of higher education; student access, retention, and student success.
Founded in 1851, Bishop Loughlin, based in Brooklyn's Ft. Greene neighborhood, is currently the fifth-largest Catholic high school in Brooklyn and Queens, with about 700 students enrolled. It graduates at least 99% of its senior students with at least 97% of graduates matriculating to college each year.