Dec. 1, 2010

President's Tenure Marked by Listening, Involvement and Inclusivity

Garvey at faculty luncheo with music professors
President Garvey talks to music faculty members Associate Professor Sharon Christman and Dean Grayson Wagstaff at the Fall Faculty Luncheon.

When he started serving as Catholic University's President this past July, John Garvey noted that he would be listening to members of the CUA community as he firmed up his vision for the University.

While living in Camalier Hall, a student residence hall, over the summer before he moved into Nugent Hall, the President's official residence, Garvey dined at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, where he frequently ate with students and listened to their thoughts and suggestions. When students asked for more play space on campus, Garvey responded by having a basketball hoop installed outside, at the northern end of the McMahon Hall parking lot.

Since the 2010-2011 school year started in late August, Garvey has seemed like a basketball player himself, sprinting to a variety of events - both on and off campus - to learn more about CUA and to include others in the ongoing discussion about the University's future.

As part of his fall semester itinerary, Garvey:

  • Had tea with faculty and staff at Nugent Hall during three informal discussions about CUA's 2006 five-year Strategic Plan, in preparation for the upcoming launch of a process to formulate a new plan
  • Attended the freshman retreat - along with his wife, Jeanne Walter Garvey - Sept. 11 at Camp St. Charles in Newburg, Md., where they talked to more than 240 students about their spiritual life as a couple
  • Addressed the University's professors Sept. 14 at the Fall Faculty Luncheon at the Pryzbyla Center
  • Unveiled his vision for the University at the annual retreat for CUA's Board of Trustees held on campus Sept. 27 and 28
  • Attended the annual Red Mass Oct. 3 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., that traditionally precedes a new session of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Traveled to Phoenix and Los Angeles, where he met with Bishop Thomas Olmsted and Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez, both members of the Board of Trustees; a group of Latino business leaders; and the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Oct. 6 through 9
  • Moderated a Columbus School of Law panel discussion with two former solicitor generals on Oct. 12
  • Gave introductory remarks at an Oct. 13 panel discussion on the impact of religious issues and religious voters on the Nov. 2 elections that was held at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Along with wife Jeanne and their two dogs, Shiva and Gus, welcomed neighborhood children and their parents to CUA's annual Halloween on Campus Oct. 28
  • Played a walk-on role Oct. 29 in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music's production of The Magic Flute at Hartke Theatre, hurrying across campus from the football field, where he had welcomed participants to CUA's first-ever football game under the lights
  • Attended a Nov. 3 concert at Carnegie Hall by a 19-piece chamber orchestra of students drawn from the CUA Symphony Orchestra and met with New York-area alumni at a reception
  • Cheered on the men's basketball team players they battled their counterparts at the University of Notre Dame Nov. 6 in South Bend, Ind.
  • Addressed the U.S. Catholic bishops Nov. 15 at their annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore
  • Traveled to Rome to participate in the Nov. 20 consistory elevating two CUA alumni to the College of Cardinals and to meet with Vatican officials
  • Has hosted monthly lunches for students at Nugent, with his wife

Bart Pollock, web content editor, who attended one of Garvey's informal discussions with faculty and staff about CUA's strategic plan, says that the President asked questions about a wide range of subjects, and listened as those in attendance shared ideas for nearly two hours.

Frank Persico, vice president of university relations and chief of staff, notes that Garvey's participation in a wide variety of events and discussions reflects his commitment not only to learn as much as he can about all aspects of the University's life, but also to engage the university community as he moves forward with plans for CUA's future.

"He's an inclusive leader," Persico says. "He feels it's important to listen to different constituencies, so there's transparency in the process. No one person is going to pull the University forward. We all have to be pulling in the same direction."


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