Jesuit Inaugurations

 September 30, 2011 speech of Christine M. Wiseman, J.D., president of Xavier University of Chicago, at the inauguration of the president of Creighton University: “It is a privilege to offer these greeting at this moment in time to a man who long ago captured my intellect, at an institution which long ago captured my heart. At an institution where scholars can gather to challenge the norms in science of the past; where students are free to challenge those who declare that Truth exists only in what has been and leads no room for what might be; at a place whose students are free to challenge the world over what is unjust. At an institution where the church does Her best thinking, where theologians continue to explore the meaning of Truth, but their theories and ideas are contextualized by a people of faith, unlike in the marketplace of ideas. At a place with an identity being Catholic whose people can challenge the Truth about what exists — in what has been — for what might be. At an institution whose identity is both Catholic and Jesuit, of greater complexity than any other Jesuit university in this country, in disciplines and majors where students will understand that learning must encounter human suffering. Where learning about human success involves learning about human pain. Where learning about conquerors must involve learning about the conquered, where learning about rule-makers must involve learning about the exploited, where learning about leaders and their ideas must involve learning about the marginalized and the poor. For this is the obligation of mercy and it will forever be necessary for students who must respond creatively with some idea to a world in need of healing. Just as it will be necessary to a world which must respond with the hopefulness described by Flannery O’Connnor as characterized through Jesus as one who looked at the world and saw it as a place worth dying for. In a catholic institution whose reach is global. Welcome to the challenge at this place, in these times. In this place it is one thing to educate women and men of all races and ethnicities and to lead each other, and it is another to afford them the opportunity. We who are here with you today come to offer our support.  

 With a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate from Marquette University, upon graduation Christine M. Wiseman went into the field of law, serving as a law clerk for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, an Assistant Wisconsin Attorney General with the Criminal Appeals Division, prior to her academic career. Wiseman, in nearly 30 years in Catholic higher education, has served as a law professor and administrator at Marquette University, professor of law at Creighton University and then vice-president for Academic Affairs at the Jesuit University. Most recently she was Professor of Law and then the provost at Loyola University of Chicago before becoming the 19th president of Saint Xavier University.

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2 comments so far

  1. paperlessworld on

    Concerning Catholic identity in the modern world, what was not asked this day, with women more and more as liberators, was what would you sacrifice by entering a profession in this secular, apolitical world, with the high cost of living but the ease of indifference as everything has become political, and the choice to be “apolitical” is usually just an endorsement of the status quo, in an unexamined life. So did you, in your ascetic struggle with a way of life, like to think? What had driven you here to this place, where life’s necessities would be more easily available with a college degree, when work one day would be more readily available to make yourself a success. In the modern struggle of the human condition which has come from the old rural world or at least with the illusions in the new urban one, the female quite personal struggle over choice: so, pro-choice or pro-life? Yes, the stance of “apolitical” is a political position – a choice by a lot of young people to relinquish power —— but with it to relinquish the possibility of being engaged with the really interesting and urgent affairs of our time. It is counter-cultural to hide out — the attempt by cool people to seemingly be anti-hegemonic, unimposing — among trivial topics. Concerning Catholic Jesuit identity in this modern world, it is truly counter-cultural to look at this world, just as Jesus had discovered the world and saw it as a place worth living for, to give from a secular, apolitical world with the high cost of living and the ease of indifference, yourself to rather a life living with a holy unease. To live a life with an unconditional unease.

    It’s not just the Jesuit education, but how you live with it thereafter.

  2. paperlessworld on

    A man who elevated women to a higher plateau than his; when a man’s worth was proven by his fidelity.

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