Spring 2022 News and Notes
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News & Notes

from Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities members  

Campus Highlights | ACCU Members #StandWithUkraine | American Rescue Plan Anniversary | Synodality | Mission and Spiritual Life | Transitions


Campus Highlights

Australian Catholic University developed and launched EthicsFinder, an expertly curated search engine for those interested in exploring and engaging in a wide range of ethical issues. In a message promoting the new intiative,  Supported by a network composed of over 80 academic specialists from 50 universities and institution, EthicsFinder provides resources covering general fields of life, love, politics, ethics, philosophy, and culture.  The search engine is valuable to assist with studies, work, or knowlege about ethics in Catholic tradition or other ethical positions.  Learn more about the ACU EthicsFinder...

Caldwell University is launching a double major in Business Administration and Literary Studies to provide students with highly marketable skills for today’s digital economy by combining Business and English courses.  Learn more about this double major program...

Dominican University received a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., to build a national network of Catholic universities committed to advancing culturally responsive campus ministries.  The momentum for this project, titled “On the Way Together: A Synodal Vision for Developing Latino/a Pastoral Leadership at Dominican University and Beyond,” was catalyzed by practices rooted in the everyday lives of Dominican Latino/a students and their families and communities.  Learn more about the network...

Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, University of Maryland professor, spoke with the La Roche University community on March 31, 2022, about disinformation, misinformation and conspiracy theories in recent media.  Their presentation, "Media Manipulation: Exploration of Mis and Disinformation,” hosted by La Roche's Center for Lifelong Learning and Media Literacy Group, explored a wide range of misinformation and disinformation around the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and COVID-19 vaccine along with examining paths forward for measuring, understanding and intervening in U.S. domestic online extremism.  Learn more about the event...

Loyola Marymount University, Marymount University, and St. Edward's University (TX) are one of 19 higher education instutions selected by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to participate as thought partners in the development of the TRHT–Focused Campus Climate Assessment Toolkit, providing their insight and feedback on its relevance, content, and structure.  The toolkit is designed to help institutions and practitioners examine systems, policies, programs, services, and practices that perpetuate disparities and inequities through a false belief in the hierarchy of human value.  Learn more about the toolkit...

Providence College announced that its School of Professional Studies will launch a Master of Education in Special Education with Dyslexia Credential in partnership with Wilson Language Training.  The 34-credit program will offer advanced course work in special education with a particular emphasis on dyslexia studies. It also includes a 10-credit sequence leading to a Level I Certification as a Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner.  Learn more about their new program...

Saint Xavier University held its annual Synergy Student Leadership Summit on February 19, 2022. The annual student-led conference consists of educational sessions, student panels, engaging activities and service projects to help students understand various aspects of leadership and work to become diverse, inclusive and innovative leaders. Learn more about the student leadership summit...

Santa Clara University welcomes applications for an online summer workshop held June 20- July 1, 2022 that is geared to faculty members planning to include a sustainability module in an existing course or develop a new course focused entirely on sustainability.  The Santa Clara Sustainability Across the Curriculum training center is the only Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)-affiliated training center in Northern California, and one of just two Jesuit affiliates in the country.  Part of the workshop will focus on how sustainability relates to Ignatian pedagogy and Jesuit-Catholic mission.  Applications are due April 15. Learn more about the workshop and application...  

On March 31 and April 1, St. Francis College (NY) hosted its second annual Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference. This two-day event united academics, activists, public officials, and formerly incarcerated individuals to address the realities of punishment-while-incarcerated as well as the challenges of life after prison. Learn more about the conference...

Thomas More University will host its inaugural Saint Thomas More Summit for instructional designers, online engagement specialists, or others passionate about online learning specifically at Catholic colleges and universities. This new summit will be hosted annually with this year's focus on building our Catholic identity and living our mission through e-learning and course development. Register to attend, summit a proposal, or learn more about the summit...

ACCU Members #StandWithUkraine

With Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine, communities worldwide are joining together to #StandWithUkraine, including many of our ACCU member institutions through action, prayer, and support.


Walsh University's Panel DiscussionWalsh University and their community joined together in solidarity through a prayer for peace and justice for Ukraine led by Chaplain Father Thomas Cebula and welcomed special guest Fr. Vsevolod Shevchuk from Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in attendance.  Additionally, they Walsh University panel discussion audiencehosted a panel discussion with panelists Dr. Rachel Constance, Associate Professor, History, Dr. Bill Davis, Associate Professor, Government and Foreign Affairs, Elizabeth Kaplan, 1993 Ukrainian refugee, and Philip Kopatz '19, former Ukrainian resident and current graduate student, to learn more about Russia-Ukraine historical relations along with current and projected global impacts of this war.  The panel, held on March 17th, was moderated by President Tim Collins.  Learn more about this campus event...


University of Scranton with Ukraine flag lit on Gateway signUniversity of Scranton lit the Ukraine flag on its Gateway sign to show their thoughts and prayers for the Ukrainian people, joining others across the world to pray peace and freedom are restored to their country and their people once again.

Learn more about additional responses on their campus...




Band Together Album Cover


Janis Chakars, a Neumann University communications professor who has played in punk rock bands for 30 years, is doing what he does best to raise money for Ukraine.  On March 23, he launched Band Together, a compilation of songs by nine American and seven Ukrainian bands to support the war-torn country.  On March 29, Chakars hosted a show on 98.5 WNUW, the university's radio station, during which he played tracks from the album and explained why support of Ukraine is critical.  

As a member of Citizens Arrest, a band that has toured Eastern Europe, Chakars used his music industry connections and research skills to collect the songs in a matter of weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.  Although fellow Ukrainian musicians were eager to donate their art, many wrote to share that they weren't able due to reasons of joining the army, having to flee the country, or inaccessibility to working computers.  American contributions to the album include songs by punk icon Ted Leo, Erin Incoherent, and the bands Unsane, Citizens Arrest, and Under Attack.

“It was important to me that Ukrainian bands be included because I think their voice need to be heard right now,” Chakars says. “And Americans need to be in solidarity with them.”  

Learn how you can support this effort through Band Camp...  

Album cover designed by Chakars’ teenage son, using a photo that Chakars took in 2019 when he visited Latvia and Ukraine. 

American Rescue Plan Anniversary Recognition

The week of March 7th, the White House and agencies across the Federal government celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP).  The Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education along with many ACCU member institutions celebrated funding under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and its impact on students and institutions across the country.  Many of ACCU member institutions, including Edgewood College, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, LaSalle University, Notre Dame de Namur University, Quincy University, and Viterbo University made a point to share their thanks either on social media platforms and public statements along with correspondence of gratitude to government officials.

About HEERF under the American Rescue Plan

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and signed by President Biden is intended to help institutions of higher education prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. ARP included $39.6 billion to institutions of higher education. It is one of the largest, single, investments ever made in institutional and student grants into many of our nation’s most under-resourced institutions educating students most acutely affected by the pandemic, including

  • More than $10 billion to community colleges,
  • More than $2.6 billion to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),
  • Approximately $190 million to Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and
  • Approximately $11 billion to Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs)
  • $5 billion to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions (AANAPISIs)
  • Almost $1 billion to Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs)

There is growing evidence that HEERF is helping address many of the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic and has been critical to supporting institutions and students throughout the pandemic. Among a survey of college presidents, HEERF enabled 93 percent of colleges to provide emergency scholarships to students at risk of dropping out; 88 percent of colleges to purchase COVID-19 tests, conduct health screening, and meet other urgent public health needs; 81 percent of colleges to keep student prices similar to pre-pandemic levels; 80 percent of colleges to provide students with electronic devices and Internet access helping them stay enrolled and connected to faculty; and 70 percent of colleges to continue to employ faculty, staff, and other employees otherwise at risk of unemployment.  Nearly one in five (20 percent) of college leaders said their college was at risk of closing due to pandemic-related factors and HEERF enabled institutions to continue operating.

Synodality On-Campus Discussions & Summary Reminder

Synodality Summaries Reminder for May 16, 2022As a reminder, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Synod office has asked if our ACCU Catholic colleges and universities could find creative ways to gather Catholic students this spring term and discuss their experience of the Church as part of a larger global synodal consultation.  They also ask that a 1 to 2-page summary of key ideas from the session be sent afterwards.  

To get started, additional information is noted below:

Your 1 to 2-page summaries should be sent to ACCU at SYNOD22@accunet.org by May 16, 2022. Each summary will be sent to the USCCB along with a larger summary of our Catholic universities' considerations on behalf of ACCU.

Mission & Spiritual Life

Students attending Mass on frozen Lake Sagatagon at Saint John's University (MN)

Saint John's University (MN) student Mass on frozen lake

A unique student Mass was held Feb. 20 at Saint John’s University (MN) on the frozen ice of Lake Sagatagan on campus and was attended by several hundred students from Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict

What started as something Saint John’s did during COVID to uplift spirits and provide something unique has now turned into an exciting tradition. Campus Ministry periodically holds Mass outdoors when the weather is nice, but this is the second time on a frozen lake.

Learn more about this unique campus event...


The Saint Leo University community joined with other Catholics and many Christians worldwide to celebrate the beginning of the Lenten season on March 2 by receiving ashes in observance of Ash Wednesday.  With Pope Francis designating this year's Ash Wednesday as a day of prayer and fasting for Ukraine, their university ministry office hosted Mass at the Saint Leo Abbey Church, dedicating to prayers for our siblings in Ukraine. With the words, "repent and believe in the Gospel" repeated throughout Mass, students were also able to reflect on the signifance of receiving ashes for them and a reminder of God's love in this call for peace and unity.

Saint Leo: Father Anthony Ujagbo makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of Vice President of Student Affairs Jen ShawSaint Leo University Ministry student-leader Sarah Voisinet, makes the sign of the cross in ashes

Photos by Isaac Jeter, Saint Leo University


Two Chaminade University students had the opportunity to participate in "Building Bridges" with Pope Francis.  

The historic encounter with the Pope was part of a dialogue with students from North, Central and South America on the economic and environmental pressures contributing to migration and displacement.

Chaminade junior Alycia Tausaga, who is majoring in Environmental Science, and senior Joseph Durocher, a Biochemistry major, were part of a group of about 20 students in the West and Pacific Region. In total, the Pope met with about 100 students from across the three regions during the virtual meeting on February 24.

Learn more about their virtual meeting conversations...


Presidential Transitions/Inaugurations

ACCU welcomes the newest ACCU member presidents and transitional presidents who have started in their roles along with those who have been inaugurated since our last Update:

Welcome to our newest ACCU presidents!Welcome and Congratulations

Mark Middendorf, President, Ave Maria University

James Mullen, Jr., Transitional President, St. John's University (MN)

Terrence Sawyer, President, Loyola Maryland University


And congratulations to our newly inaugurated presidents!
Montserrat "Montse" Fuentes, St. Edward's University

Kathy Humphrey, Caldwell University

Daniel Scholz, Cardinal Stritch University 

Share your newest appointments with us! 

Contact ACCU Marketing & Member Services and follow and tag us on our social media platforms so we can celebrate your communities! 

Laudato Si' News

Catholic Climate Covenant logo

ACCU Member Institutions Received Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) Create Care Grants

At the beginning of the new year, Catholic Climate Covenant announced Creation Care Grants winners for 100 Catholic organizations to spearhead local ecological and Laudato Si' projects . Among the grant winners are college campus ministries, parishes, elementary and high school creation care programs, charities agencies, state Catholic conferences, men and women religious communities, and many others. Ten out of 11 Catholic colleges and universies that were recipients of this first-round of winners are our ACCU member institutions:  Boston College, Holy Names University, Madonna University, Manhattan College, Neumann UniversitySt. Edward's University (TX), St. Joseph's College of Maine, St. Mary's University (TX), University of Saint Joseph, and Xavier University 


Available Funding Opportunity

Victory Noll Sisters Small Grants Program 2022 has new funding available and accepting applications, which are due May 2, 2022. Learn more on their website...


Looking for global support in your journey?

University Pathways Laudato Si' LogoJoin University Pathways, a global community of universities and colleges, that will provide assistance traveling Pope Francis’ 7 Year journey toward Integral Ecology at the Laudato Si´ Action Platform.

Anniversary Celebrations

It was wonderful to celebrate our member institutions who had milestone founding anniversaries in 2021 at the 2022 Annual Meeting. Congratulations and blessings to your communities!

ACCU Members with Milestone Founding Anniversaries in 2021

Celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2022?

Let us know so we can make sure to highlight campus events and celebrate your member institution at the 2023 Annual Meeting!