Scranton Inaugurates Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., as President
To Love and Serve in All Things
With delegates representing nearly 100 colleges, universities and learned societies from across the country joining nearly 2,000 dignitaries, students, faculty, staff and community members, Father Quinn used his Inauguration address to turn an eye toward the future of our Jesuit university by recalling the roots of the Society of Jesus.
“The University of Scranton is animated by the vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola and his first companions,” said Father Quinn, explaining the Society’s overwhelming focus is educating young men and women in the spirit of Ignatius. “One of the key phrases capturing the charism of Ignatian spirituality is ‘to love and serve in all things.’”
Father Quinn added that his Inauguration marked “a dramatic intersection of the past with the future, of our traditions and accomplishments with our hopes and aspirations. That is why we are here.”
He presented a vision of Jesuit higher education in the 21st century that champions an educational strategy that elicits a “personal transformation” in order to lead to a transformation of society.
“Here lies the key to Jesuit higher education in the 21st century,” said Father Quinn. “What universities claim to be teaching their students – specifically, to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems, and communicate clearly – is necessary, but not sufficient, for Jesuit universities. For a Jesuit university should ask more of its students by challenging them to make Ignatius’ charge – his notion of service – their own.”
Father Quinn also said “it is not just serving others and learning about people, but learning with and from people who are often excluded from participation in economic, social and political life.”
He sees Scranton as well-positioned to deliver this kind of education.
“The University of Scranton, a Jesuit university, can and should excel in providing its students an education that is engaged, integrated and global,” said Father Quinn. “We can do something special here. Of that I am very certain.”
Displayed at the ceremony were more than 100 greetings and citations from government bodies, universities and organizations, including a letter from the fire commissioner of the City of New York Fire Department. Father Quinn remembered in his address his father, the late Patrick Quinn, who was a fire fighter in New York for more than two decades.
The Inauguration included the world premiere of an original composition by renowned conductor, composer and bassist Lawrence Wolfe based upon one of Father Quinn’s favorite passages from Philippians (4:4-8). Wolfe conducted the piece, entitled “Rejoice in the Lord Always.” It was performed by the University’s Performance Music Choral and Instrumental Ensembles.
Among the many dignitaries in attendance were the Very Reverend James M. Shea, S.J., Provincial, Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus; Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton; Honorable John P. Blake G’01, representing the 22nd Senatorial District of Pennsylvania; Honorable Christopher A. Doherty, mayor of Scranton; Sister Anne Munley, I.H.M., Ph.D., president of Marywood University; Reverend Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities; and Rabbi Joseph Mendelsohn, Temple Israel.
Father Quinn joined students and staff members at St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, where they swept floors and sorted clothes at the Scranton facility.
Caitlin Brady ’12, a nursing major from Wellesley, Mass., said that by selecting “A Celebration of Service” as the first Inauguration event, President Quinn sent a “strong message to the student body in support of doing service.”
Brady participated in the on-campus “Nurses to Newborns” initiative organized through the Community Outreach Office to provide infants with clothing and other necessities.
Students, faculty and staff also volunteered at St. Joseph’s Adult Day Program, the Everhart Museum, Friends of the Poor, the Taylor Community Library, the Gino Merli Veterans Center and the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, among other organizations.
Crowd Packs Lecture Examining Human Rights
Father Brennan’s speech, entitled “A Jesuit Perspective on Making Human Rights and Religion Friends, Not Foes,” posed how religion and human rights could work together to help those less fortunate in society.
Speaking from his many experiences working with “marginalized” people, Father Brennan’s message encouraged the audience to not push religion aside in the quest for human rights. He said: “Once we abandon any religious sense that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God … it may be very difficult to maintain a human rights commitment to the weakest and most despised in society.”
Father Brennan urged the audience to use Father Quinn’s Inauguration and the “forthcoming Quinn era” to make the University a “privileged place where religion and human rights walk hand-in-hand for the well-being of persons and societies here, far away, down under and all places in between.”
Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., executive director of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education and associate professor of religious studies and classics at Santa Clara University, served as homilist.
“Kevin, we pray that you will be given the strength, the courage, the confidence you need to lead this fine university where the Lord requires,” Father McCarthy said. “In times of trial, we pray for your peace of mind – a peace that comes from knowing that this alone the Lord requires of you, Kevin: only this – to do right, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Performance Music Welcomes New President
The composition, entitled “Rejoice in the Lord Always,” was premiered at the Inauguration Ceremony the day before. The piece is based upon one of Father Quinn’s favorite passages from Philippians (4:4-8).
In addition to the Performance Music ensembles, the concert included performances by guest soloists Mark Gould, a world-renowned trumpeter, and Joseph Boga, an undergraduate student at The Juilliard School and a member of The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra.
Several dignitaries, including Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. , Bishop of Scranton, and the Very Reverend James M. Shea, S.J. Provincial, Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, made remarks and offered well-wishes during the Inauguration of Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. To view excerpts of their remarks, click here.
At a Glance: Inauguration
Total for all events: 5,541 (approximate)
Inauguration Ceremony: 1,800 (estimate)
Inauguration Mass: 1,000 (approximate)
Inauguration Concert: 700 (estimate)
Inauguration Lecture: 800 (approximate)
Inauguration Employee Picnic: 482
Celebration of Service: 759
Number of Colleges and Universities Represented: 74
Oldest College Represented: Harvard University (established 1636)
Newest College Represented: The Commonwealth Medical College (established 2007)
Most Distant University Represented: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.
Former University of Scranton Presidents in Attendance: 3