In this, my last letter as president of the College, I want to share my deep sense of gratitude for where we find ourselves as an institution completing 185 years of living the mission of Jesuit and Catholic education on this Hill.
In fall 2014, Spring Hill College joined NetVUE, the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, a consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities working towards helping undergraduates engage in vocational discernment. Interestingly, this group, despite its scholarship, program development, and the myriad efforts of its member institutions, has no official definition of vocation, although all agree that vocation is much more expansive than simply "career."
One's vocation might take him no further than his own neighborhood, or it might send him to the other side of the world. In the case of three Spring Hill College alumni, their vocations led them back to The Hill.
At a time when the College needed them the most, Jim McKinney '69 and John '68 and Mary Lou '70 Barter used their business acumen and philanthropic strategy to get the College's financial situation back on track.
The Spring Hill College Board of Trustees announced in February the election of Dr. Christopher Puto as the 37th president of Spring Hill College. Puto began his post officially on June 1, and he will be formally inaugurated Sept. 15. He succeeds the Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., who is continuing to serve the College as chancellor focusing on mission and identity.
Dr. Michael Kaffer '61, Professor Emeritus of English
(53 years of service)
One year after graduating from Spring Hill in 1961, Kaffer embarked on his teaching career as an instructor in the English department. In 1966 he took a three-year hiatus to complete a master's degree in English from Louisiana State University - Shreveport, and returned to Spring Hill in 1969. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Alabama in 1985.
Gautrelet Award - Named in honor of Rev. Francis Gautrelet, S.J., the first Jesuit president of Spring Hill College, the award was established in 1972 and recognizes an individual of high integrity who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement.
Megan St. Germain '15 and Erinn Vogel '15 understand the importance of fundraising.
Both communication arts majors, St. Germain of Baton Rouge, La., and Vogel of Milwaukee, Wis., have worked in Spring Hill's Advancement Office, getting to know the ins and outs of the College's fundraising, alumni relations, and communications and marketing efforts.
Steve Wieczorek joins the SHC athletics staff as men's soccer head coach after a seven-year career as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level with Oregon State University, Duquesne University and Siena College.
At Duquesne in 2013, the Dukes advanced to the Atlantic 10 Championship Quarterfinals while posting their best overall record since 2009 and their best conference record since 2006. Wieczorek served as Siena's top assistant as the Saints enjoyed the best stretch of success in school history.
John R. Kirwan '53 has written and published a book on his life about collecting autographed baseballs throughout the 1930s through the 1970s. Titled "A Pittsburg Gentleman," the book documents how life was in those decades through the national pastime of baseball, and even mentions John's experiences at Spring Hill College.
Andrew Clarke '59 is a writer and editor in Milwaukee, Wis. He has created his own website comprising original poetry, stories and greeting cards.
The Office of Communications and Institutional Marketing leads the College's efforts to articulate its mission and to generate goodwill and support through the news and sports media, publications, special projects and electronic communications.