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January 16, 2018

The Inauguration of President Miguel Martinez-Saenz

"Every time he speaks, everyone in the vicinity stops by to listen and learn," said Alexander Baum '18, President of the St. Francis College Student Government Association.

miguel mertinez-saenz

It's a sign of the energy and passion that Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz brings to campus every day. Now, after 17 years as a professor and rising academic leader, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz stands at the pinnacle of his career, the 19th President of St. Francis College. Beginning January 17 and running through January 27, the College community will participate in a series of events to celebrate the inauguration of President Martinez-Saenz.

The ten day celebration begins 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 Friday, then Presidential Installation Ceremony on Saturday, January 27. (See full calendar of inaugural events)

"The next leader of St. Francis College needed to be a person whose leadership would help unleash the full potential of the talented students, faculty, and administrators at the College," said John F. Tully '67, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. "In just a few short months, President Martinez-Saenz has proven that we chose wisely."

"We appreciate the genuine enthusiasm for learning and for student and community engagement that President Martinez-Saenz brings to the College," writes the Faculty Coordinating Committee on behalf of St. Francis College professors. "President Martinez-Saenz's sense of hospitality, care, and compassion will ensure a continuation of the College's core Franciscan values. From our academic perspective, the new President's vision for increasing the academic profile of the College is one we are proud to support."

"His prior experience in higher education and his background in philosophy serve as a testament to his wisdom as a transformational leader and as a teacher; preaching the value of hospitality, service, and humility while inspiring us to follow in his footsteps," added Baum.

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).

"We look forward with great enthusiasm, as we all work together, to make St. Francis College a great place to educate the young minds placed in our care," said Michael Fontana, President of the Adjunct Faculty Union. "We remember the words of Aristotle as he so brilliantly said, 'Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.'"

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 [email protected] 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

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 photos 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 (first come first-served)

• 6:00pm – Full performance – must reserve tickets via [email protected]

Friday, January 26 - Inaugural Mass

• 3:00pm - St. Charles Borromeo Church

Saturday, January 27 - Presidential Installation Ceremony

• 11:00am - St. Francis College, Founders Hall

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