Winter 2021 News and Notes
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News & Notes

from Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities members  


Saint Leo, USF Engage in Chaplain’s Challenge Ultimate Frisbee Match

Saint Leo Ultimate Frisbee Match CelebrantsThe Saint Leo University Ministry Lions claimed the cup on October 9 in their Ultimate Frisbee match against the University of South Florida Catholic Student Union Bulls. Father Randall Meissen, university chaplain for Saint Leo, launched the 2021 Chaplain’s Challenge, inviting the Bulls, led by USF’s chaplain Father Kyle Bell, to join the Lions in Mass and a “friendly” competition for the sought-after cup— a green glass trophy graced by Saint Leo’s lion mascot holding a U.S. flag and a rosary.

It was a time for faith and fellowship as the Lions and Bulls celebrated together at Mass at Saint Leo’s Saint Jude Chapel. Meissen and Bell were joined by USF alumnus Father Anthony Astrab and Father Bernardo Torres, friend of Meissen and a fellow Legionary of Christ priest, to concelebrate the Mass before the game. Dr. Randall Woodard, chair of Saint Leo’s Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology, played for the Lions, while Astrab, who is the parochial vicar of Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, FL, was described by Meissen as the USF Catholic Student Union's “secret weapon.” 

Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg Bishop Gregory Parkes, who also is a Saint Leo University trustee, sent his encouragement to the players, but maintained a “holy neutrality” when it came to picking a winner.

“It was a well-fought game in the Florida sun on the Saint Leo intramural field,” Meissen said. “Our prayer, a Hail Mary in the team huddle just before the start of game, paid off. Saint Leo brought home the Chaplain's Cup.”

The Lions claimed a 13-10 victory and hope the Chaplain’s Challenge becomes an annual tradition for the two universities.

Photo by Isaac Jeter, Saint Leo University


ACCU Members Take Action to Pope Francis' Request

ACCU colleges and universities along with the Church's other ministries across the world we asked by Pope Francis to join a collective 7-year effort to address climate change in whatever form best suited for their institution. Happily, most ACCU institutions are actively pursuing such goals and thus are responding positively to the Pope's request. 

Participation in this Action Plan starts with a signed commitment from the University President to gather a group of faculty, students, administrators, staff, and neighbors over the next year to develop a Laudato Si' Action Plan for their university that will integrally and boldly advance each of the 7 Laudato Si' Goals. As of November 10, there are currently 31 ACCU members who have signed their commitment letters, including Australian Catholic UniversityGonzaga University, University of Notre Dame, and University of San Diego.  Additional information about this initiative and commitment updates will be posted on the ACCU resources page as they become available.

Laudato Si' Action Platform


Seton Hill University Students Selected for United Nations Supported Millennium Fellowship 

A group of Seton Hill University students from a variety of majors have been selected for the Millennium Fellowship, a semester-long leadership development program sponsored by the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network, that convenes, challenges and celebrates student leadership for UN goals. More than 25,000 students applied from 2,000 campuses worldwide with only 2,000 students selected on 136 campuses in 30 nations for the Millennium Fellowship Class of 2021.

As Millennium Fellows, the Seton Hill students will engage in leadership training and will put into motion a community project that tackles the United Nations Sustainable Goal for Sustainable Cities.

“The entire Seton Hill community congratulates our student leaders selected to the Millennium Fellowship Class of 2021,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger, Ed.D. “These students will work toward advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, an effort that aligns with our mission as a Catholic, Setonian institution. Seton Hill is committed to educating students to think and act critically, creatively and ethically as members of society committed to transforming the world. The Fellowship will provide Seton Hill students with an outlet to apply what they are learning in the classroom to critical real-world situations.” Seton Hill University SHUstainable Human Settlements and Resources (SHSR) Participants

“The Millennium Campus Fellowship program offers students an unparalleled chance to engage their leadership skills to identify challenges in our changing world,” said Roni Kay O’Dell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and the faculty advisor to the Millennium Fellows at Seton Hill. “The program provides training and insight for students on implementing a community project to advance one of the sustainable development goals that the United Nations is working to achieve. Our Seton Hill University students will be implementing a project to raise awareness on making cities and human settlements sustainable and safe, particularly in the areas of water, air, and infrastructure. Through research, presentations, and community service they will engage their peers and members of the community to care for and cherish the world we live in. I'm excited to support these students as they implement this project and become leaders at Seton Hill and in our larger community.”

Their project -  SHUstainable Human Settlements and Resources (SHSR) – brings together Seton Hill students from various disciplines dedicated to researching, educating, and impacting the local community around UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 11 - Sustainable Cities. The three-part project will focus on research, outreach, and cleanup. During the research phase, the students will focus on the ways cities are impacted by water, air, infrastructure, and other human-related environmental issues as well as the political and socio-economic effects of the issue. The team will then conduct outreach to local middle and high school students as well as Seton Hill students about their research and the importance of sustainable cities. In addition, they plan to travel to Harrisburg to lobby state officials on the issue. Finally, the group will host a community cleanup event to take tangible action on the issue of sustainability.

During the fellowship, they will also attend virtual events with Millennium Fellows from around the globe to learn more about what others are doing and to hear from a variety of speakers on social impact work and how they can be better leaders in their communities.

The students have created a website with more information on their efforts. Learn more about the Millennium Fellowship at

Photo courtesy of Seton Hill University



Recent Appointments at ACCU Member Institutions

Milton Javier Bravo, Ph.D., assumed the new post of Vice President for Mission, Values, and Inclusion at Edgewood College on November 1, 2021.

Joel G. Curran has been appointed vice president for public affairs and communications at the University of Notre Dame.

Alumnus Bob Hickey has been appointed as the Franciscan University of Steubenville new vice president of advancement.

Dr. Hilda Koster, a professor of feminist theology and ecotheology, has been named the new holder of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Toronto Chair in Theology. Dr. Koster joined the University of St. Michael’s College’s Faculty of Theology in July 2020 and was appointed head of the Elliot Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology (EAITE) earlier this year.

Kamu Pindiprolu has been named as chief information officer and a member of the college's leadership team at Trocaire College.

Paul J. Sutera was appointed as the new senior vice president of university advancement at Sacred Heart 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! 


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