Commencement 1968 – by Denise Franklin Terry ‘68

Ms. Denise Franklin Terry ’68 recalls an Albertus experience formed during a vastly different (but significant) period in time. While dress codes have dissipated and House Mothers have evolved into Resident Assistants, the Dominican tradition still provides the backbone of an Albertus education.

On June 6, 1968, my class stood in front of Rosary Hall to receive our diplomas. We were all women then, women who had no idea what we would face as the world and the culture transformed. We trained to be teachers and social workers, and many of us married young. The Women’s Movement was a small seed, not yet an embryo, as we tiptoed forward, well educated and confident.

1968 Flag at CommencementPeople talk about “the 60s” as if the country were filled with hippie communes. Rather, at least on Prospect Hill, rules changed slowly. A student at Albertus Magnus, particularly a resident student, was bound by curfews (and silent study hours and 10 p.m. lights out on weeknights). For meals at Dominican Hall, she followed a full-page dress code: skirts, of course, but also detailed descriptions of acceptable types of shoes, sweaters, and blouses.

If she wanted to take a walk or a bike ride in slacks, she had to put on a trench coat and leave the dorm by the back door. She could return a book to the library in this outfit, but not study there. She attended tea parties, wearing white gloves; she knew how many cookies a lady takes and how to manage a teacup.

1968 Cap and GownIn some ways, these were comforting routines. House Mothers kept an eye on sign-out charts and locked the doors at midnight. Male visitors, including fathers and brothers, remained on the first floor of dorms, with few exceptions (moving in and moving out days).

I hope that students still take three years of Theology and Philosophy; in those classes the class of 1968 learned the skills we would need to analyze and question assumptions and traditions as the world around us shifted.

Off-campus, we “baby boomers” volunteered: tutoring in New Haven; building in Mexico; organizing political campaigns; marching for peace and for civil rights. We were dancing to a whole new musical sound.

Yes, the class of 1968 made changes to a few rules concerning curfews and dress codes, but more importantly the student government officers worked with faculty and administration to change the power balance, making Albertus Magnus a more open and cooperative institution.

During our senior year, 1967 – 1968, the pace of change increased. A presidential campaign focused on U.S. involvement in Vietnam pushed a seasoned politician and sitting president, Lyndon Johnson, to decide not to run for a second term. In the spring, on April 4, we witnessed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the widespread riots that ensued. As our senior year in high school had been shadowed by the death of President Kennedy, four years later, our final year in college was even more steeped in tragedy.

Two months later, we graduated. We wore pastel dresses on Class Day, surrounded by our happy families. But, on that day, just after midnight, Robert Kennedy had been shot. He died on June 6, the day we graduated.

More than forty-five years later, though, we still remember much joy on the Albertus campus, and we marvel at the diverse and vibrant campus headed by Julia McNamara.

1968 Denise Franklin Terry Denise Franklin Terry ’68




Interview with Brian Pierce, O.P.

On Monday, March 31, Fr. Brian Pierce gave the St. Catherine of Siena lecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture series. The title of Fr. Pierce’s talk was, “Caught in the Middle – Between Two Friends.” This inspirational lecture will be posted on the Albertus Magnus College YouTube Channel.

Brian Pierce, OP., is a Dominican Friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, USA. In the 1990’s Fr. Brian was part of the team of Dominican friars sent to Honduras to found a new community of preachers in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, where they worked in the formation of lay leaders in barrios and mountain villages with men and women living with HIV-AIDS.

Fr. Pierce spent a year and a half in a contemplative ashram dedicated to Christian mysticism and interreligious dialogue. After spending three years with a preaching team based in the USA, Brian moved to Lima, Peru to serve for three years as the Promoter of the Dominican Family in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently he accompanied the contemplative nuns worldwide. Fr. Pierce has written three books: Martin de Porres: A Saint of the Americas, We Walk the Path Together: Learnings from Thich Nhat Hanh and Meister Eckhart and Praxis y Prediacon (a book in Spanish for preachers).

While Fr. Pierce was on campus he had an interview with Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P., Assistant to the President for Dominican Mission and Ministries.

1. How has being part of the Dominican family impacted your I learned to be a Dominican through my association with other Dominicans.

The first group of the Dominican family I met, when I was a college student attending a retreat, was the Dominican Nuns. I was praying in the chapel of the Dominican Nuns when I had this profound experience of God’s presence in the contemplative silence of the chapel. This experience made me want to know more about the Dominican family and meet more members.

As I came to know more Dominicans I began to feel more and more a part of the As I became a member of the Dominican family, consisting of the friars (priests and brothers), nuns, sisters and laity, I saw this group as a gift to the Church. Each group lives the Dominican Charism in their unique way of life and therefore impacts many more lives.

2. What do you think is essential for a Dominican college to promote in today’s world?

For me, what is essential for a Dominican college to promote is dialogue – a dialogue that leads to truth.Through dialogue one realizes we do not own truth rather we receive and uncover truth as a learning community. From my short time here at Albertus, I have observed and heard the dedication of the faculty to this type of learning.

3. As a member of the Dominican family, what is your hope for the future of our students?

I hope the students will listen to the Word of God together so they can experience dialogue around the Word and build a faith filled Dominican community. In this process of sharing around the Word students can be opened to different viewpoints and the power the Word to form our minds, hearts and lives.

Sister AnneSister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the

Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.

Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.

Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.

Volunteerism: Servant Leadership at its Finest

Spring is often a time of renewal. A second chance at those New Year’s Resolutions that we forgot once February rolled around. During your own reflections, have you thought about taking on a new leadership challenge? Have you thought about using your leadership skills in the community? Have you thought about volunteering?

raise-hands-volunteer-copyI know many of us may stay away from taking on such a challenge because we figure we don’t have the time. The truth is we do have the time for volunteering if it’s for something we are passionate about. What is it that you care about? When you read the news, what causes grab your attention? Is it homelessness, hunger, or education? Or, is it something broader, such as helping people improve their job development skills, or helping the less fortunate handle their finances? Or, is it something as simple as helping with a neighborhood cleanup or sharing your voice with the church choir?

Now that you’ve identified an area you’re passionate about, take a look at your skills and talents. What can you offer an organization that is servicing this population? Would you like to be a board member, or would you like something more short-term, such as serving on a fundraising committee for a gala event?

Don’t forget to do some research on the organizations that specialize in the area of your interest. There are a great number of resources available: with just the click of your mouse, you can find so much information with a simple web search. For those of you in the New Haven area, the GNH Community website, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and United Way of Greater New Haven are great starting points. And, just like when you do a job search, you’ll know when you see the perfect match for you.

“I was taught that the world had a lot of problems; that I could struggle and change them; that intellectual and material gifts brought the privilege and responsibility of sharing with others less fortunate; and that service is the rent each of us pays for living, the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time or after you have reached your personal goals.”

Marian Wright Edelman

volunteer workI am a lover of quotes. And anyone who studies or teaches in the field of organizational leadership will find that we’re not lacking for quotes that can fit the lesson you’re trying to teach, or the sector that you work in. The Marion Wright Edelman quote above is one of my favorites when I talk about community leadership and volunteering. As leaders we do have the privilege and responsibility to share our talents with others less fortunate.

There are thousands of non-profits and religious organizations in the State of Connecticut which could use your help. Be it for something as simple as a few hours over the course of one day, or a longer-term commitment. They can use your skills and talents. Help be that change.


Patti Scussel is vice president of community and business development for Start Bank in New Haven. Previously, she had served as executive director of the Greater New Haven Leadership Center at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, as well as executive director of the programs of the New Haven Network for Public Education. She has more than 20 years management experience the fields of publishing, marketing, events, and communications. Patti received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Albertus Magnus College, and received her MBA from the University of New Haven. She is an active volunteer and has served on numerous boards and committees. Patti has won several awards in recognition of her community service. She has been teaching in the Master’s in Leadership Program at Albertus since 2007. Patti teaches Moral Leadership (grad and undergrad), Leadership in Theory and Practice, Team Building, and Case Studies in Community Leadership.