Dear Alvernia University Community,
Sometimes we need to be thankful for things that, in more normal times, we take for granted. As we wrap up another successful Turkey Drive amongst the challenges of a national turkey shortage and knotted supply chains, I do not have to look far from my new office at 401 Penn Street to see what I am incredibly thankful for this year.
In a word, it is partnership.
Partnership is the one word that ties together so much of what we do and, more importantly, how we do it. So, with this theme in mind, I wanted to share the partnerships I am thankful for and thank those who made it all happen:
- The Bernardine Franciscan Sisters, who founded our institution and influenced our core value of collegiality. Undoubtedly, collegiality is the cornerstone of all the partnerships we forged.
- Partnerships among our student body. From our over 50 student-run organizations and now over 30 athletics programs, our students’ shared purpose of creating a better community and world is the beacon of hope that inspires the work we do.
- The continued dedication of our faculty and staff, who, through a partnership with our senior leadership team, worked tirelessly to keep our campus community safe and healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And it is that same partnership, brought to life innovative programs, new ways to transform our students and new opportunities to engage and improve the communities we serve.
- Partnership with our growing board of trustees. Their shared vision, purpose, and decision-making have led to unprecedented growth and stewardship of university resources.
- Our extended Alvernia community, alumni, philanthropic supporters, and community partners who provide their time, talent, and treasure to ensure all our students on all our campuses are granted a truly transformational educational experience.
- The many partners who have moved the CollegeTowne initiative from dream to reality. Without the significant and ongoing support of our local, state, and federal government officials, local business owners, including those on our Engineering Advisory Board, and community organizations working to enhance and preserve the City of Reading’s economic, arts, and cultural activity, the opening of our downtown Reading location at 401 Penn Street would not have happened as it did in early September.
Most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve you as president of Alvernia University.
I wish everyone the happiest Thanksgiving, and I look forward to continuing to form meaningful partnerships and sustain others that will spur our transformational mission as we move into 2022 and beyond.
So, as you gather around the table with your family and loved ones, I will leave you with this excerpt from the Canticle of the Creatures, which was featured prominently in preparation for the Presidential Pilgrimage to Assisi this fall. Another gift for which I will be forever grateful.
“We praise You, Lord,
for Sister Earth,
who sustains us with her fruits,
colored flowers, and herbs.”
-Saint Francis of Assisi
John R. Loyack