What brought you to Regis?
In the fall of 2004 I came to Regis to help the College faculty re-imagine our honors program. I was looking for a university that was values centered, and one that cared deeply about the formation of its students’ character in addition to delivering a top quality education.
What is your favorite Jesuit Value? Why?
The Magis is a value that I believe is often misunderstood and yet one that I resonate deeply with. Often the Magis is translated to mean more, as in doing or even being more. But it comes from the Latin motto of the Jesuits, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, forthe greater glory of God. And so when I think about the Magis, I think about finding the better way when faced with a difficult discernment. I think about what will promote greater human flourishing, what decision will help everyone involved to thrive. And so seeking the Magis is a value that I think best guides our vocational decisions and informs the lives we live.
What was the inspiration behind your speech at the Liberal Arts panel?
Chapter 8 of Fr Gregory Boyle’s book, Tattoos on the Heart, redefines success. I believe Fr. Boyle has much to teach us about success, about what counts as success. What’s more, his account of success informs the lives of the most “successful” Regis grads I know. So I shared a few of their stories in my talk, and linked their lives to the quest for solidarity that Fr. Boyle urges us all to make.
Tell us about your position as Academic Dean.
“What universities…are mandated to make or help make,” claims Wendell Berry, “is human beings in the fullest sense of those words.” Although it’s a strong claim, I believe Berry is right, and I believe our mission at Regis requires nothing less. The best thing about being the Academic Dean is that I get to work closely with over 100 top-notch and highly dedicated faculty who want nothing more than to help cultivate fully human beings. We have a wonderful group of students who desire to become men and women in service with and for others. And we have an educational setting that prizes relationships—between faculty and students, between staff and students, and between students and students—and thus works very hard to make all these relationships formative and nurturing. It’s a privilege to serve as dean and to help guide and support these efforts.
What has been your best memory while at Regis?
My best memories at Regis revolve around the moments when our students and our faculty are recognized for the exceptional work they do. For example, Dr. Cath Kleier, the Chair of our Biology Department, was recognized last year as the Colorado Educator of the Year. Last year, Dr. Eric Fretz from our Peace and Justice Department was recognized as a Fulbright Scholar. A year ago, Professor Willy Sutton was awarded a Guggenheim for his exceptional landscape photography. Each year, we recognize one of our faculty as the Faculty Lecturer of the Year, and last year Dr. Jason Taylor from our Philosophy Department was awarded that honor. In all of these cases, I remember the joy of our community when we paused to recognize the exceptional work being done, daily, here at Regis by our colleagues. I could also reflect on the dozens of Regis students who have excelled in graduate programs, who thrive in medical school or law school, and who win prestigious scholarships like the Rhodes. In every case we celebrate with these exceptional graduates and we share in the joy of their accomplishments. All of these events make great memories of my time at Regis.
Is there anything else you would like the Regis community to know?
At Regis, we do want to prepare our students for jobs and careers, but we also want to educate people for a life of human flourishing, a life dedicated to the service of others, a life characterized by ethical responsibility and spiritual awareness. The education here is designed to achieve just such outcomes, and the entire Regis community—faculty, administrators, staff, students—is committed to the holy work that makes such outcomes possible. Regis is a special place and it’s an honor to teach here.
Associate Editor: Humans of Regis