Posts Tagged ‘Regis University’
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Announces Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran as President
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), which serves the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S., has announced that Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran will begin his tenure as president on April 1. He succeeds Jesuit Father Gregory F. Lucey, who has served as president since 2011.
“It is a great privilege to lead the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. We will work to advance the mission of Jesuit higher education: to help students lead exemplary lives and grow in service, faith and justice,” said Fr. Sheeran.
Prior to his new post, Fr. Sheeran had been president of Regis University in Denver for 20 years. He also served as the university’s academic vice president and academic dean. Under Fr. Sheeran’s leadership, Regis University’s student enrollment doubled. He also oversaw the development of Regis’ online academic programs, established partnerships with international Jesuit institutions and hosted Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton on campus in 1993.
Fr. Sheeran entered the Society of Jesus in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1970. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught at Regis University, Saint Louis University and Regis Jesuit High School in Denver.
Jesuit Father Stephen V. Sundborg, AJCU Board of Directors Chair and president of Seattle University, said, “On behalf of the AJCU Board of Directors, I welcome Fr. Sheeran as the new president of AJCU and thank him for his service. We also thank Fr. Lucey for his outstanding leadership over the past two years, and we wish him well in his return to Spring Hill College as its chancellor.” [AJCU]
It’s not uncommon for Jesuits to discover their vocation to the Society of Jesus while attending Jesuit-run high schools or universities. But Jesuit scholastic Jason Brauninger’s vocation story is different — he found the Society of Jesus on the Internet.
Brauninger was always curious about a religious vocation, but the diocesan and monastic life didn’t seem to fit him. The more he researched the Society of Jesus, the more he felt called to it, despite having never met a Jesuit. What he learned online made an impact. He was struck by the Jesuit commitment to working in the world and the emphasis on using one’s gifts and talents to serve others.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Brauninger had started training as a junior firefighter at the age of 14 and received a bachelor’s degree in fire science before entering the Society. However, while praying during a 30-day retreat as a Jesuit novice, he felt drawn toward the nursing profession. “It wasn’t quite what I expected to hear,” Brauninger says of the discovery. “But everything has fallen into place and it all happened because of the grace of God.”
Brauninger completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Saint Louis University and became a cardiac care nurse. Now Brauninger is at Regis University in Denver, where he lives with the Regis Jesuit Community, works as a trauma nurse at a local hospital and teaches in the school of nursing.
“It is a great privilege to be at Regis. I’m able to continue my formation as a Jesuit, work as a clinician and learn how to be a professor,” Brauninger says. “I love being with the students.”
Regis University in Denver, Colo., inaugurated a new president, Jesuit Father John P. Fitzgibbons, on September 24. Fr. Fitzgibbons began his term on June 1, succeeding Jesuit Father Michael Sheeran. Previously, Fr. Fitzgibbons served as associate provost for faculty development at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
“We’re doing for students what works in today’s world,” Fr. Fitzgibbons told the North Denver Tribune before his inauguration. “Building on the excellent work done by Fr. Sheeran, I look forward to ensuring that the enrollment, retention and promised academic excellence of Regis University continue in upward trajectories.”
In line with the university’s Jesuit heritage, Regis has a long tradition of service, and students participate in more than 50,000 hours of service- and community-based training each year, according to Fr. Fitzgibbons. He said that these campus ministry programs help students during their formative college years to realize their role as men and women doing for others.
“We continue to keep our Catholic emphasis while inviting diversity of other cultures and faiths,” said Fr. Fitzgibbons.
Fr. Fitzgibbons also talked about the need for a well-rounded education. “A liberal arts curriculum is important because we believe that the professionals need this kind of education to think critically, write extremely well and make good discernments,” he said.
“We try mightily on integrating the two [humanities and hard sciences],” said Fr. Fitzgibbons, adding that Regis focuses on drawing out the God-given talents of students and building on them.
The university is also focused on financial assistance. In past years, Regis has worked to fund education for first-generation college students, especially graduates from Arrupe Jesuit High School. “We doggedly work to make Regis affordable to students from all socio-economical backgrounds,” Fr. Fitzgibbons said.
Read the full story at the North Denver Tribune.