There is nothing that I can say that even begins to capture my feelings about my time working and living at Siena College this past year. It has been an extraordinary experience, one positively shaped by my wonderful brother friars, faculty colleagues, dedicated staff and excellent students. I arrived on campus in May 2010 and began teaching in the Department of Religious Studies that Fall. Two semesters, four courses, many office hours, lots of lecture and conference traveling, a service trip to the Dominican Republic, and a commencement exercise later — I leave to return to Washington, DC.
I have truly come to love this place — affectionately referred to as “the other school” by my fellow St. Bonaventure University alumni, a term of endearment that doesn’t quite capture the rich history the younger Siena College (which began as the St. Bonaventure University East Campus in the 1930s, while SBU was founded much earlier before the Civil War in 1858) has in relationship to its older academic sibling. I have often said, and continue to say, that St. Bonaventure is my second home — which it remains. But in that line of romantic thought, I should say that Siena has become my third (if not my other second) home.
I am grateful for my brother friars for their fraternity, their mentorship, their support, their challenge, their prayer life and everything else we’ve shared together over these several months. I am grateful for my faculty colleagues, to those who worked with me in the Department of Religious Studies and those with whom I worked as a member of the Foundations Faculty. I am grateful for the outstanding staff of Siena College, in all departments, that work tirelessly — and often behind the scenes — to make this great college the outstanding institution that it is.
And I am especially grateful for the Siena students. They are, by and large, bright and promising young adults who have exciting futures ahead. I learned much from my own students as well as those I had the privilege to perform with in the Siena College Pep Band, travel and work with in the Dominican Republic during Spring Break and to all those I met along the way. I wish you all the best and hope that our paths cross again soon.
I want the entire Siena College community to know that, although I leave this place this weekend, I will remain connected in spirit and prayer. I will miss all the people here that I’ve gotten to know well as well as those I wish I knew better. I will miss this place, a fact that reflects so strongly our sacramental experience as Catholic Christians and a truth that bespeaks my love for (“upstate”) New York.
As I depart I offer you the prayer that St. Francis loved so much, the blessing that he offered those who requested it.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,
May the Lord Show His Face to You and Have Mercy on You
May the Lord Look Upon You With Kindness
And Grant You His Peace.
May Almighty God Bless You!
Stay in touch, dear friends. Go Saints!