John Lewis Reflection - July 20, 2020
The death of Congressman John Lewis leaves a large hole in the moral fabric of the nation. He was a selfless champion for those who are marginalized and intentionally prevented from pursuing the American dream. We lost a piece of our living history, a connecting link to the civil rights movement of the 1960s that opened the door to fully lived rights for millions of Americans.
I had the privilege to have lunch with Congressman Lewis when he was on campus in 2015. It was evident that the fire still burned in him for justice and his belief in the good of humanity was still as strong as ever. He told me that when as a student of 15 he felt a calling to participate in the civil rights movement, his mother urged caution. "Don't get into trouble," she said. However, there is something such as good trouble and as he told our students, you need to go out and get into good trouble, call out injustice and work to make things better.
He told our students as well; that the work started in the 1960s was not finished and there were still many Americans who were deprived of basic liberties and social necessities; those who are precluded from voting, who do not have access to health care or quality education, those who go hungry and those who lack hope.
Go out, he said, and be a voice for change. This cry still echoes in my ear and now that I am retired, my goal is to be one of those on the ground working directly for change.
When I was President of Molloy College, I always reminded our student and employees that Molloy was founded by the Dominican Sisters to be an agent of transformation, to transform society into a more just and compassionate place. We do this by the individual actions of our alumni, student, and employees.
John Lewis stood for this - he lived it everyday and we should honor him by doing the same, being a beacon of hope and an agent of change, by what we say and what we do. We should, like Congressman Lewis be willing to get into good trouble, be willing to put our back to the wheel and nudge society to a better place. Our job, as Mr. Lewis tells us, is not done.
(I also had the opportunity to get to know, Joseph McNeil, one of the first four Woolworth Lunch Counter Protesters. His story is remarkably similar to Congressman Lewis, so you might want to read my 2015 Commencement address to graduates where I share his similar message.)
A Message from Dr. Bogner - June 1, 2020
The past few days we have come to witness the frustration, anguish and despair unleashed by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and too many others.
While we also watch our country reel from the effects of a pandemic that has laid bare hard truths in our society; the realities of inequity, injustice and systemic racism, we are called to reflect on how we respond as individuals, as a community and as an institution - and quite frankly, as Molloy College. Black lives matter, and we stand in solidarity with our Black students, faculty, alumni, and employees.
I have heard, also, your passionate calls for equity, justice and fairness for each member of the Molloy community. We have read your messages and comments. While none of us can change what has happened in the past, I can promise you that we are more committed than ever to listening with open hearts and minds, in order to create a College that lives up to every aspect of its mission. We will continue to educate individuals who exemplify the four pillars of our Dominican tradition in their families, workplaces and communities. We will reaffirm those principles in our own actions.
As members of the Molloy community, we recommit to the most fundamental principle of our Catholic faith, that we are all created in God's image and likeness and that each person is inherently good and worthy of respect. We confirm that we will greet each person we meet with the love, dignity, and compassion that Jesus exemplified in his time on earth. With that, please know that hate speech will not be tolerated.
I ask all of you to participate in a series of open forums that will be scheduled in the near future. During these sessions, we will explore how we can strengthen our College and ensure that every individual who is part of our community feels they are heard, especially our students, faculty and staff of color. It is important that we identify and modify any process or system that knowingly or unknowingly, excludes an individual or group.
We affirm our vow to hold true dialogue surrounding anti-racism and social justice. We must remember that Molloy College was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville as an agent of transformation, working tirelessly to change our society into one that is more just and compassionate. We are called in a special way to step into the breach, to advocate for change, to declare that the present for many is far from perfect and that justice for all must be the truth in everyone's existence. We know that each of us and all of us together can make a difference in this world.
Thank you for your honesty and your hope and belief that by speaking out, we can create a community that is just, fair and compassionate.
Our work will continue.
Drew Bogner, Ph.D.
Easter Message from Drew Bogner 2020
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light."-Isaiah 9:2
This passage from the Old Testament speaks to us in the present day. Who among us has not felt that we were walking in darkness; that we are having difficulty seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel?
For some, the loss of livelihood, closeness and those all-important hugs, have indeed left a great sense of concern, fear and isolation. For others, watching and waiting for someone to recover has been painful and, most assuredly, the greatest form of heartache has been the unfathomable loss of a loved one. To those most especially, I offer my condolences and prayers.
But, here we are celebrating life on Easter morning! On Easter, we, as Christians, celebrate life and the opportunity for new beginnings. Daily life as we know it will not be the same but we can focus on ways in which we can come together to celebrate all that is good.
Whether you celebrate Easter or another religious observance this month, this is a sacred time for many; it is Spring, a time for rebirth and renewal. The Molloy Community has been and will continue to be a source of inspiration and serve as leaders in the quest to help others, including the greater community around us. I wish to thank you for all you have done to keep our communities safe and for serving as examples of how we treat and care for others.
Gandhi said, "be the change you want to see in the world." At this time in our lives, let's be the light we know the world needs to see.
Drew Bogner, Ph. D.
A Message from the President Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
As a follow up to the communications recently shared with you from Student Health Services, please know that Molloy College continues to closely monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization's (WHO) statements regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The well-being of our students and employees is our first priority and a dedicated team is meeting regularly to coordinate and advance college-wide actions and communications on this topic.
We will continue to monitor developments and provide communications via email and through the Student Health and Wellness webpage.
Please keep everyone affected in your prayers. partnership.
A Message from the President About Molloy College/St. John’s University Partnership
I am happy to announce a wonderful partnership our new School of Arts and Sciences has created with St. John's University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Beginning in Fall 2020 we are providing accelerated pathways for students to come to Molloy for an undergraduate degree in 14 different arts and sciences disciplines and then achieve their Master's degrees from St. John's University - all in 5 years. It will provide an economic opportunity for our students interested in expeditiously earning a Master's degree in disciplines where Molloy does not currently have a graduate program, while gaining a professional advantage in the workplace. I want to thank our colleagues at St. John's, including President Bobby Gempesaw, as well as Molloy's Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ann Branchini, and Founding Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Christopher Malone, for their hard work on this great partnership.
A Message from the President About the Tragic Events in Charlottesville
Molloy's mission and the four pillars of Dominican life (Spirituality, Study, Service and Community) affirm our commitment to the inherent dignity in each and every person. The recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a clear reminder that, while free speech is a right of all Americans, hate, rhetoric and violent acts must never be tolerated.
Molloy Signs Joint Documents in Support of Immigrants
In December Molloy College signed a document in support of immigrant students and their ability to continue their studies without interruption. That document (see link below) was authored by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) and signed by more than 100 other Catholic colleges.
A Message from the President about Super Storm Sandy
Molloy College is deeply aware that many members of the Molloy family have suffered and continue to suffer from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The College is organizing an effort to provide support to members of our community in need.