Saint Vincent College Announces Invitation to President Bush for Commencement Address

January 24, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
LATROBE, PA — President George W. Bush has been invited to give the 2007 commencement address to Saint Vincent College graduates at this spring's commencement exercises, the College announced today.

Saint Vincent sent a letter of invitation to the President of the United States from the Rt. Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey and Chancellor of Saint Vincent College. The 2007 commencement ceremonies are planned for Friday, May 11, at 11 a.m.

"These are exciting times for Saint Vincent College, so I felt it was time to really think big for a commencement speaker," Archabbot Douglas commented. "Politics aside, a Presidential address would bring national attention and prestige, enrich our academic experience, and help burnish our reputation as one of the finest liberal arts schools in the country. We're praying for a yes reply from the White House."

Last year, Jim Towey was named President of Saint Vincent. Mr. Towey was a top aide to President Bush, serving as Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Prior to that, Mr. Towey also had worked with Mother Teresa for 12 years as legal counsel and volunteer in her missions in the United States and Mexico.

Saint Vincent College is a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college, founded in 1846, that is located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Efforts to augment Saint Vincent College's national profile are bearing fruit, as enrollment and applications are at record highs and new construction projects are underway around the campus.

— Admission applications for fall 2007 students are at an all-time high and are nearly 35% higher than they were at this time a year ago. Total enrollment topped 1,800 for the first time last year.

— Construction is now underway on the $14 million structure that will house the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media, the Saint Vincent College Conference Center and the McCarl Coverlet Collection.

— Saint Vincent announced in November 2006 the successful completion of a record-breaking $75 million development campaign.

— Cooperative agreements have been completed with eight Chinese colleges and universities to give Saint Vincent students the opportunity to study in China. Saint Vincent also houses the James and Margaret-Tseng Loe China Studies Center which sponsors conferences on the arts, philosophies, history and culture of China. The Center carries forward the history of Benedictine contributions to Chinese higher education dating back to the founding of Fu Jen Catholic University in 1925.

— The Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence is a signature program of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government, which empowers regional enterprises to achieve world-class performance.

—Saint Vincent is now competing in NCAA Division III athletics and returns to playing intercollegiate football in September 2007.