Announcements and Press Releases
Response to Buffalo Mass Shooting
May 17, 2022
Dear Molloy Community,
This weekend we reeled at the news of the premeditated killing of ten Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo. This shooting was firmly rooted in white supremacist hatred, which has no place in our country. There are no prayers or words that can return the victims to their families and communities, or reassure a traumatized city, state or country that this will not happen again. To the contrary, by the end of the weekend, three more mass shootings took place in the United States.
As Molloy Lions, we can, however, take determined action to speak up and stand up for the dignity and worth of those victimized because of the color of their skin. Our foundation as a mission-driven university is that transformative education based on Catholic social teaching can positively impact our communities. We must endeavor to understand the division and relentless pulse of racism that continues to plague the country and muster the will to stand firm in the belief that life is precious. Drawing upon our shared conviction that the surest path forward is the one we walk together, let's courageously engage in actions with our friends, neighbors, classmates, and colleagues to call out the abhorrent act that tragically stole the lives of innocent people and the underlying hatred that led to it.
I ask all of us at this time to pray for those who were murdered, those who are hospitalized as a result of this heinous act, and those experiencing deep grief and mourning. Let us take a moment to acknowledge each individual who was killed in Buffalo, even as we struggle to comprehend how we have arrived in this place together.
For those seeking support, please take advantage of the resources available through our Student Personal Counseling Center, Carebridge/EAP for employees, along with Campus Ministries, Mental Health and Wellness Center, and dialogue with the Siena Center for Social Justice.
Molloy becomes a Laudato Sí’ University
April 27, 2022
Having just concluded our annual Founders Week, I share with you our campus-wide response to an invitation from Pope Francis to support the seven goals outlined in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Sí’. It is our responsibility to support the health of our campus and our common home, the earth, in respectful stewardship of God’s creation, and we affirm this obligation by becoming a Laudato Sí’ University. This is in keeping with our identity as a Catholic Dominican University.
The Pope’s Call
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis insists that all people must embrace “the moral imperative of assessing the impact of every action and personal decision on the world around us.” He invites Catholic organizations like colleges and universities to embrace “an integral ecology . . .that is about much more than caring for nature” but also “about caring for each other as fellow creatures of a loving God.” This document and the many efforts inspired by it from Catholic institutions reflect a “concern for the environment” that is “joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” Pope Francis outlines seven goals in the encyclical: “responding to the cries of the Earth and the poor, fostering ecological economies, adopting a sustainable lifestyle, offering ecological education, developing ecological spirituality and supporting local communities.”
We commit ourselves as a Laudato Si’ University in accordance with the four Dominican pillars that are foundational to our core values. Specifically, a commitment to Service means focusing our efforts with urgent attention to the ongoing environmental crisis, economic inequities, and social injustice that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our community and throughout the earth. We have begun to take initial efforts in this area by establishing the Laudato Sí’ Action Plan Committee comprised of faculty, students, administrators, staff, and community partners. This group is developing an Action Plan for the University that will advance each of the seven goals laid out in Laudato Si’. This Plan will serve as a foundational and guiding document for how we will proceed as a community to foster sustainability both in our campus life and operations and through our curriculum and engagement with the broader community. In the next five years we will implement concrete action steps identified in the Plan. Evaluation of the community, ideas for implementation, and concrete action require the contributions of the entire University community.
As a Catholic Dominican University committed to transformative education, we must face the reality of the continuing global environmental crisis, and entrenched injustice and inequity honestly and with resolve. For too long, “sister earth, along with the abandoned of our world” have suffered because of inaction. As Molloy moves into the next chapter of its history as a University, our community can chart a course for environmental justice that recognizes the intimate relationship between the dignity of the earth and the dignity of every human life.
Get involved to support Molloy as a Laudato Si’ University by contacting Catherine Muscente, email@example.com.
April, 13, 2022
Spring is traditionally a time of rebirth and renewal and, as we enter Holy Week, we are reminded of the promise of our faith. Walking through campus, flowers and trees are blooming, and students are emerging from classrooms and residence halls to enjoy time on the great lawn, signaling the end of a long winter.
Easter is certainly a time to celebrate life and the opportunity for new beginnings, which is an important reminder for us all as the world wrestles with both the on-going pandemic and the horrific war in Ukraine. May we all find a renewed energy and sense of purpose as we journey through this holy time of year – a time of resurrection and salvation - "And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power." 1 Corinthians 6:14
The celebration of Easter is reason to rejoice as we reinforce our belief and spiritual foundation as a values-based, Catholic and Dominican institution. This is an exciting time in Molloy’s history as we move forward with embracing our new status as a university in service to our community. It truly is a time filled with much promise.
I wish all the members of our Molloy community a joyous Spring, a Blessed Easter and a Happy Passover!
Message from the President on the Events in Ukraine
February 27, 2022
As we watch the horrific events unfold in Ukraine, our hearts and prayers are with the people of this sovereign country that is under an unprovoked attack by an aggressor that threatens the lives of innocent people and attempts to weaken and destroy democracy.
At Molloy, we echo the thoughts of Pope Francis, who has made a personal plea to political leaders, saying, “I would like to appeal to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war; who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.”
The Pope has also appealed “to everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike” to make March 2—Ash Wednesday—“a day of prayer and fasting for peace.” At Molloy, we will dedicate our Ash Wednesday services to pray for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
At Molloy, we place great value on the way that we treat and respect each individual, and watching war unfold in Ukraine is an affront to those values. To those in our community who may be directly affected by the war in Ukraine, we offer our support and assistance.
The war is already having a worldwide effect on us all. Please join me in praying for peace and for leaders and people everywhere to place the love for humanity above all else.
A Holiday Greeting
December 15, 2021
A Thanksgiving Message
November 25, 2021
As Thanksgiving approaches I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to all of our students, who continue to pursue learning, formal and informal. Your optimism and energy reminds me of the importance of the work we do. Thank you to our faculty - your commitment to educating the "whole" individual, while pursuing your own scholarship, is the foundation upon which we continue to grow. And thank you to our staff and administrators, who continue to find creative solutions to the unique challenges of higher education.
Our commitment to service is a hallmark of the Molloy experience. In 2021 I've witnessed and experienced many examples of Molloy Lions giving their time, expertise and, not insignificantly, material support. The year kicked off with the annual MLK Day of Service activities - which were creative and responsive to the remote environment in which we were all operating. Molloy student athletes won the ECC Cares Award, which is given to the institution whose student athletes raise the greatest amount of money per individual athlete, for the third year in a row. Not to be outdone, our outstanding alumni and friends continue to share their generosity at every opportunity, including scholarships, events and annual funds. Just last week our students packed vans with more than 1,000 pounds of donated food and supplies and delivered them to The Mary Brennan INN, to support Long Island families this Thanksgiving.
The outpouring of generosity and support reminds me that, based on our guiding values and virtues, we are making a difference in our communities every day. Thank you for exemplifying these words, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
As the days grow shorter, let's also revel in the spirit of Chanukah, the Festival of Light, which begins this weekend.
From my family to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
James Lentini, D.M.A.
A Veterans Day Message
November 11, 2021
Today, November 11th, is Veterans Day, and we are thankful for all of the sacrifices made by all veterans of the United States Armed Forces, including our faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni. We are grateful for your courage, determination and selfless dedication in defense of our country and the foundation on which it was built.
Veterans Day honors all who have given their all for our freedom. Please remember to thank them and their families on this day of remembrance.
James Lentini, D.M.A.
Message to the Molloy Community in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
September 10, 2021
It seems almost impossible that twenty years have passed since two planes struck the World Trade Center, taking the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people. Two decades later, we are reminded of the brave passengers on an early morning flight who fought valiantly to save the lives of people they didn’t know, even though their own deaths were imminent. A generation has been born and grown to adulthood since a fourth plane crashed into the Pentagon.
There are indelible stories of the heroes from that day, including the first responders who rushed in when no one knew what would come next. Brave firefighters, police officers and medical personnel ran toward destruction instead of away from it. Many of those who thought only of rescuing others jeopardized their own lives, and the physical and psychological toll emerged months and years later.
Almost every member of the Molloy University community was affected – we lost family and friends and searched for meaning and solace. To those who grew up with only pictures and stories of loved ones lost, please accept my deepest condolences. To those who lived each moment that day and every day that followed please know that you, too, are in our prayers.
We find ourselves, twenty years later, facing unprecedented challenges. Many in our community have lost loved ones. Domestic and international unrest threatens to divide us. Severe weather events highlight an uncertain future. Let’s pledge to one another, however, to be steadfast in what unites us – our common humanity and our desire to be of service in our communities.
Let’s return to our greatest strength as a Molloy community – each other. Let’s stand firm in the example set by St. Dominic who stated, upon meeting St. Francis of Assisi, “You are my companion and must walk with me. For if we hold together no earthly power can withstand us.”
James Lentini, D.M.A.
A Response to the George Floyd Verdict
April 20, 2021
To all the members of the Molloy Community,
The announcement of today's verdict of murder affirms that the violence against George Floyd that we collectively witnessed as a nation was seen and heard by the criminal justice system. There is still much to be done to protect the rights and dignity of all people, and I ask you to join me in reaffirming Molloy's commitment to a lifelong search for truth.
Whether we are students, faculty or staff, the values and guiding virtues of Molloy University will continue to guide us personally and as an institution. We believe that through our personal transformation we can affect our communities and the world, grounded in the pursuit of truth, integration of study and contemplation, seeing God in all things, compassion and justice, and engaged scholarship.
The fight to ensure that every individual is treated with dignity and respect will continue. This is a long struggle and it can be wearing. As we continue to live in circumstances more socially isolating than normal, it may become more difficult to dialogue with others. Let's be sure to reach out and provide avenues for conversation and support. As always, resources are available to all members of the Molloy community.
James Lentini, D.M.A.
Resources are available through our Student Personal Counseling Center and Carebridge/EAP for employees, along with Campus Ministries, Mental Health and Wellness Center (available to the public and alumni for a fee) and dialogue with the Siena Center for Social Justice.
An Easter Message
March 31, 2021
To the Molloy Community:
We are now in Holy Week after one of the most difficult years for the College and the nation. As a Catholic College, founded in the charism of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, the Easter season always has special resonance for us. This year, Easter could not come as a more timely reminder of the promise of our faith.
The promise of Easter is new life! After a time of great darkness, we will see the light and have a new and better life. As a College, we have been through so much, yet we have persevered. Along with the regional Long Island community and, indeed, the entire world, we have suffered tremendously, but the hope of tomorrow still shines brightly. The hope that we all share, as a community of scholars, is that education and service will remain the hallmarks of our society. In the year since COVID-19 changed our lives, let's recall our founding mission and our calling to help others see light and hope.
Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover or another religious holiday, please accept my best wishes for spiritual renewal, for light, and for hope.
James Lentini, D.M.A.
Response to Violence Against Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander Communities.
March 18, 2021
To all the Members of the Molloy Community,
We stand in support of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander descent. Anti-Asian hate crimes are wrong and have no place in the Molloy Community or in our society.
Here at Molloy University we are called to be moral thinkers and leaders. Molloy’s Values and Guiding Virtues statement affirms, "The Catholic Dominican vision for education is a holistic way of looking at and being in the world. It is grounded in values integral to the mission of the order: the pursuit of truth, integration of study and contemplation, seeing God in all things, compassion and justice, and engaged scholarship.”
We find ourselves confronting the darkest side of humanity, which denies people the dignity and respect afforded to us as human beings. Increasing anti-Asian hate crimes, including the tragic killings of six individuals of Asian descent in Atlanta, are counter to the Molloy University mission statement: “Through transformative education, Molloy promotes a lifelong search for truth and the development of ethical leadership.”
Our Values and Guiding Virtues statement becomes an action plan when we ensure that Molloy University is a safe space that is welcoming and supportive to each individual. As we take on the role of “ethical leadership” in our respective spheres, we must speak up and take action, acting justly and with kindness in all our endeavors. In our search for truth through self-awareness with humility, we have the power to transform our communities.
James Lentini, D.M.A.
For those seeking support, please take advantage of the resources available through our Student Personal Counseling Center, Carebridge/EAP for employees, along with Campus Ministries, Mental Health and Wellness Center (available to the public and alumni for a fee) and dialogue with the Siena Center for Social Justice.
To learn more about the diverse constituencies that enhance the Molloy community, please engage with our student clubs and their advisors: AACO (African-American Caribbean Organization), MASA (Molloy Asian Student Association), SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange), and Unión Hispana. Connect with Molloy Violence Prevention to learn more about identifying and preventing gender-based violence.
Response to Violence at the U.S. Capitol
January 6, 2021
To Every Member of the Molloy Community,
The disunity and turmoil that defined the presidential election has erupted in violence in Washington, D.C. today. I reaffirm Molloy University's commitment to the history of the peaceful transition of power in this country and the Constitution of the United States of America.
It is painful for all of us to witness what is happening in the Capitol. As an institution and as a community, we are committed to a culture of support and respect. Please reach out and use the resources available through our Student Personal Counseling Center and Carebridge/EAP for employees, along with Campus Ministries, Mental Health and Wellness Center (available to the public and alumni for a fee) and dialogue with the Siena Center for Social Justice.
I am confident that these trying times will allow us to find the best in ourselves and ultimately contribute to a better country and a better world. Let us commit ourselves to living out the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Election 2020, A Message from President James Lentini
October 30, 2020
Election Day is almost here and, as you know, it has been a turbulent campaign season.
Voting is critically important and, in fact, it is the cornerstone of our democracy. No one said it better than the late civil rights activist and member of the House of Representatives John Lewis, “The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it.”
While the presidential election is at the top of most people’s list, there are a number of other races and referendums on the ballot this year. All of these are important to you, your family and your community, and I would encourage you all to exercise this extremely important right.
At Molloy, we hold dear in our mission and values respect for each person and acting justly and with kindness in all our endeavors. During this time where differences of opinion may come to the fore, I urge everyone in our community to hold close to our core values, and to be models for how to navigate a world of varied viewpoints and feelings.
We want to remind the entire Molloy community that we have many support resources available should you need to reach out. These include the Student Personal Counseling Center and Carebridge/EAP for employees, along with Campus Ministries, Mental Health and Wellness Center (available to the public and alumni for a fee) and dialogue with the Siena Center for Social Justice.
Molloy University Supports International Students
July 10, 2020
International students are part of the fabric of higher education in the United States and strengthen our institutions, our economy and our understanding of cultures throughout the world.
Yesterday's decision by U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) puts international students in needless jeopardy of continuing their education in our country. The onerous new guidelines run counter to our institutional mission and the values of U.S. higher education as a whole.
These new regulations have the potential to significantly impact Molloy's international students. We are working with our students to ensure that their schedules meet the new regulations, despite the challenges of an international pandemic.
Molloy joins other colleges - including Harvard and MIT - in decrying these regulations and we urge ICE officials to eliminate or modify them immediately.
Day of Reflection: Juneteenth
June 18, 2020
As I begin my presidency at Molloy University, I am happy to embrace our Catholic Dominican tradition and our commitment to transformational education.
I am writing to share with you that we are declaring Juneteenth, tomorrow, June 19, an official college day of reflection, with all College offices closed and classes suspended for the day.
Juneteenth marks the date in 1865, two and one-half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the surrender by Confederate forces, that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-American persons of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger's announcement put the Emancipation Proclamation into effect. Juneteenth celebrations have been a long-standing tradition in the Black community, with growing recognition and awareness throughout the United States, particularly in recent years. Today, we take action to join in solidarity with our colleagues and community by recognizing Juneteenth.
Molloy University was founded as a transformational entity. Declaring Juneteenth an official college day of reflection calls on us to rededicate ourselves to supporting the transformation that must continue if we are to be a truly just and equitable society.
I am committed to making meaningful changes on campus and in our curriculum to respect the values to which we are dedicated, and to ensure that a Molloy education puts our beliefs into action. Recognizing and valuing all members of our community is not only the proper moral course of action, it is necessary to provide a complete and effective educational experience for all our students and to honor the strength of our diversity.
Tomorrow, while our offices are closed and classes are suspended, let's spend time reflecting and learning more about the structures that perpetuate racial injustice and what actions we can take to build the just, equitable, and welcoming College community that represents the best of Molloy.
James P. Lentini, D.M.A.
Dr. James Lentini to Become 7th President of Molloy University
January 6, 2020
John P. McEntee, Chair of the Molloy University Board of Trustees, recently announced that Dr. James Lentini, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, will become the seventh president of the College on July 1, 2020. Dr. Lentini was unanimously approved by the Board.
"After a comprehensive national search, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Lentini as Molloy's next president," said McEntee. "Dr. Lentini is a passionate and thoughtful leader with a proven track record of success in academic program development. His experience in inspiring, leading, and sustaining transformational change will allow Molloy to build on the distinguished service and visionary leadership of Dr. Drew Bogner, Molloy's current president."
"Dr. Lentini's 30-plus years of experience in higher education - in a wide variety of areas that include strategic planning, academic program development, enrollment management and more - will ensure a smooth transition in Molloy's leadership and help us continue on the path of unprecedented growth that we have enjoyed during the 20 years of Dr. Bogner's presidency," said Dan Henry, Chair of Molloy's Presidential Search Committee.
"I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as the next President of Molloy University," said Dr. Lentini. "Molloy has a tremendous history and culture, and I look forward to working with Molloy's dedicated faculty, staff, students, and alumni to build on the success that has made the College one of the finest institutions in the region."
Dr. Lentini came to Oakland University in 2013. Prior to his appointment at Oakland, he served as dean of the College of Creative Arts at Miami University (Ohio) from 2007-2013. He was the founding dean of the School of Art, Media and Music at The College of New Jersey from 2003-2007 and served on the faculty and administration in the Department of Music at Wayne State University (WSU) from 1988-2003.
A Detroit native, Dr. Lentini received a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) from the University of Southern California, a Master of Music degree from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wayne State University. He also successfully completed the Management in Leadership in Education program at Harvard University.
As Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland University, he worked closely with deans and faculty in overseeing the development of new and innovative academic programs, including a newly-formed School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, which graduated its charter class in 2015. He led the reorganization of the Office of Research, overseeing academic and research developments that led to the elevation of the university's Carnegie Classification from R3 to R2 category (Doctoral University - High Research Activity).
An internationally-recognized composer and classical guitarist, Dr. Lentini is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences GRAMMY awards and is a recipient of, among other musical honors, the Andres Segovia International Composition Prize. His compositions have been performed and recorded by national and international ensembles, and Gramophone magazine called him "an American classical music success story."
Dr. Lentini and his wife Dana have two sons, Luke and Noah, and a daughter, Evalina.
Search Committee Chair Henry led a 13-member Search Committee comprising trustees, faculty members, administrators, and a student representative. The Search Committee, assisted by Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, reviewed the profiles of more than 80 potential candidates during an 8-month search process.
Watch the Full Press Conference