Ignatian Identity

Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., Dean, Panuska College of Professional Studies

The Jesuit tradition in higher education emphasizes the humanities which "cultivates the mind, develops the imagination, and enlarges the spirit" (1999, p. 48). The Panuska College of Professional Studies (PCPS) is a community that is constantly changing with each new academic year, each freshmen class of students, and with each new effort to serve others. As I assume the new deanship position in PCPS, I know the importance of evaluating one's personal development, one's character within the ethos of the community, and especially for the significance of the Ignatian tradition. The Ignatian spirit in PCPS will continue to lead the way of valuing inquiry and critical thinking in the Jesuit tradition of St. Ignatius, as well as the practical application of knowledge in service to others through our service learning component in our programs. Please feel free to examine the PowerPoint presentation that was introduced to our 2007-2008 PCPS freshmen class in September 2007 as each freshman was called to action in the context of our community.

The former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. on June 7, 1989 delivered an address on the key ideas of Jesuit Higher Education at Georgetown University. Jesuit universities aim to form men and women "for others." Father Pedro Arrupe, who served as Superior General of the Society of Jesus 25 years ago, wrote, "Just as we are never sure that we love God unless we love our fellow human beings, so we are never sure that we have love at all unless our love issues in works of justice" (1999, p. 11).

Ignatius called for the development of the whole person, head and heart, intellect and feelings. Students at Jesuit universities are not centered on the development of the self-alone but rather are committed to ideals and values that will change society. John J. Callahan, S.J. (1997) in his book, Discovering a Sacred World summarized the Ignatian world view as world-affirming, comprehensive, liberated, and altruistic. Jesuit education is value oriented.

Our purpose in education, then, is to form men and women "for others." The strong support of our alumni at The University of Scranton encourages our undergraduate students to deepen their understanding of the human society especially with the indignant. Since the sixteenth century, our Jesuit roots have encouraged us to live in harmony between human knowledge and supernatural faith - utraque unum.

As we begin another academic year, faculty, students and staff in the Panuska College of Professional Studies will continue to redefine the Ignatian Identity in their coursework with new ways of thinking as we cultivate fresh ideas to old challenges. Beginning in 2009, the Dean's office will offer the Panuska Service Learning Student Leadership Seminar. This will be an opportunity for University of Scranton students to perfect their talents of "service to others" in a combination of academic study and community service, especially in our Leahy Community Health and Family Center.

The Panuska Service Learning Student Leadership program in the University's College of Professional Studies provides students with an opportunity to perfect their talents of "service to others" in a combination of academic study and community service. The Ignatian Identity provides the tools to be leaders in our fields and to examine our roles, values and contributions that we can make now and in the future. The Panuska College of Professional Studies will lead the way toward high standards in intellectual rigor with experiential learning for civic responsibility. As members of PCPS, we must continue to be true to its past and its future, and constantly reflect and consider the purpose of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises - wonder, freedom and practical commitment.

References:

Arrupe, P. (1999). Men and women for others. In J.J. Callahan (Ed.). First principles: The Jesuit tradition in higher education. (Pp. 10-12). Kansas City, MO: J.J. Callahan.

Kolvenbach, P. (1999). Themes in Jesuit higher education. In J.J. Callahan (Ed.). First principles: The Jesuit tradition in higher education (pp. 13-17). Kansas City, MO: J.J. Callahan.

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