March 18, 2024

Dear University community,

This Monday and Tuesday (March 18-19) we’re hosting the March meeting of the Board of Trustees in our new Nursing and Sciences Building as part of a soft opening. Preparing for this meeting has led me to think about the impact that this beautiful, high-tech building is going to have on the quality of education we’ll be able to offer our students in the Conway School of Nursing, and our University as a whole. It also led me to think about all the ways we are building momentum on campus.

This past fall we enrolled our largest class in nearly 10 years, and we already have plans to follow up on our recently concluded $520 million comprehensive campaign with significant additional investments in our infrastructure, academic programs, and endowment. We are making rapid progress toward our goal to reclaim our position as a top-tier “R1” university in the Carnegie Classification, which could occur as early as the next few years, and the performance of our swim and basketball teams this fall and winter demonstrates how we are also solidifying our position as a premier Division III NCAA athletics program.

In May we’ll graduate our first students from our successful project to launch a campus in Tucson, Az, and in June, our 25-acre solar array—the largest ground solar array in the District of Columbia—will go online and provide locally generated, renewable energy to our campus, and our local community, saving an estimated 7.115 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Both of these projects demonstrate our ability to launch innovative initiatives that lift up our communities and nation.

The leadership in Campus Ministry this year, provided by a team of Dominican friars, a priest of the Society of St John, and religious sisters of the Society of Mary, has energized the life of faith on campus, and the addition of a Vice President for Ministry and Mission to my leadership team has helped us to integrate our Catholic identity into everything we do.

"Lead with Light"

Examples of some of the CUA ads that are now placed throughout the DC area

Lead with Light advertisements are now featured around the Washington, D.C. region.

Punctuating all of this is the launch of our new brand platform ''Lead with Light,'' inspired by our University motto “Deus Lux Mea Est” (God Is My Light).

Essentially, “Lead with Light” is the result of a campus conversation about who we are and how others perceive us. The importance of leadership combined with the image of light brings to mind our double commitment to our Catholic identity and excellence in all we do, whether it’s in the lab, in the classroom, in service to our community, or on the sporting field.

While our shield, logo, and school colors remain the same, the addition of brighter shades of red and blue, bold fonts, captivating photography, and spirit-filled messaging such as “Be the Light” and “Radiate Joy,” reflects the warmth, energy, and optimism of our campus community.

You may have already noticed the addition of vibrant banners on our campus (I helped to hang a few!). We have also launched an advertising campaign across Washington, D.C., at the Metro Center station and at our own Metro stop, CUA-Brookland. You will see our new brand on buses that go around the city. And for those who are flying, look for them at Reagan National Airport.

You’ll be able to learn more about our new brand on April 3, at a brand celebration event organized by the Division of University Communications, and through additional communications over the next months.

I look forward to hearing how the new brand platform reflects your experience at Catholic University.

Send me a note to share your story of how you “Lead with Light.”

Peter Kilpatrick
The Catholic University of America