Candlelight Ceremony

The Candlelight Ceremony is a tradition of Albertus Magnus College dating back to its founding in 1925.  At the Candlelight Ceremony the senior students welcome the incoming freshmen by passing on the “light of knowledge” with a lighted candle.  From the 1938 yearbook of the College we read, “Now the senior class passed on the spirit of Albertus to us from the lighted tapers at the Candle Service in front of Rosary.”

This year the Candlelight Ceremony will take place during Founders’ Day, on Friday, September 20, 2013, for the Class of 2017 and transfer students.  For the first year students in the Division of Professional Graduate Studies will participate in their own Candlelight Ceremony on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.  Both ceremonies will be held in the Behan Community Room.  The entire Albertus Magnus Community is invited and encouraged to attend including student family members and alumni.

Within the Candlelight Ceremony the students sign the Tradition of Honor, which also dates back to the beginnings of the College.  From the 1931 yearbook we read, “It is one of the College’s proudest boasts that the students are governed almost entirely by the honor system.”  Through the Tradition of Honor students pledge to live with honor and integrity in their academic work and in their daily life of relating to others as members of the Albertus Magnus College community.

Albertus Magnus College is a Catholic, Liberal Arts College rooted in the Dominican Tradition.  It has an enrollment of nearly 1,700 men and women pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Learn more about Founders’ Day activities, updates and registration on the Founders’ Day page.

Calling All Volunteers!Albertus Magnus College is excited to announce a new college-wide initiative:  1925 Hours of Service: Building Community through Serving the Community register.  Members of the Albertus family bring alive the four pillars of Dominican life: Community, Service, Spirituality and Study. As we celebrate Founders’ Day 2013, join us in making a difference in the world around us by giving back. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, elementary school or community garden during the fall semester (August – December) of 2013 and register your hours with us as we strive to donate 1,925 hours in honor of the College’s founding in 1925.Do you already volunteer your time regularly?  Those hours count too!  Wear something Albertus, take and share a photo and register your hours!  For more information or to submit photos contact or use #Albertus1925 on Twitter.

Building the Albertus Community One Step at a Time

On Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2013, more than 20 members of the Albertus community braved a hot, humid, rainy day to participate in the 36th Annual Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, which benefitted a number of charitable organizations.  The race offered 5K and 20K courses, and the Albertus runners ranged in ability from experienced marathoners to first-time 5K participants.  Proudly, everyone finished.

Why did we run?

“Doing” reflects the Albertus tradition of community – supporting our internal community, our New Haven community and our non-profit community.

The camaraderie that develops while training for a race and encouraging each other to persevere is the same spirit you find in our classrooms.   It feels good to share that spirit with each other as we live up to the ideals of a sound mind and sound body.   It made sense to take part in the city’s largest athletic event, which, reflective of our Dominican ideals, welcomed everyone.  Like a family, members of the Albertus community enjoy each other’s company; events like the Road Race help us develop as a team and strengthen our relationships with each other.

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Finally, it’s fun!

This event was so much fun, that we invite you to join the Albertus community on Sunday, October 20, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. for the Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon hosted by Albertus.  The Walk-a-Thon benefits four local food pantries and begins on campus at the Celentano Athletic Field.  Register today at

Not familiar with the Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon?  Learn more here

We would love to hear from you.  If your work place uses athletics or charitable events to build community among your work teams let us know in the comments below.  Who knows?  You may be featured in one of our upcoming blogs on teamwork.

Cultivating Exemplary Leadership (Part One)

In my talks on leadership I often incorporate quotes as they are a great way to understand and learn from the perspectives of scholars, practitioners, and ordinary people who all have opinions on what it takes to be an effective leader.  For this first blog based on a recent workshop I conducted for the  Connecticut Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, I will dissect a definition of leadership penned by leadership scholar Warren Bennis, and challenge you along the way to think about how Bennis’s definition can be applied as you cultivate your personal exemplary leadership.  For more insights please watch the accompanying short clip.

Bennis says…

Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential.

Knowing yourself.  This seems like a rather simple concept, and in actuality, it is.  In order to be an effective leader we need to know who we are.  We need to know our strengths, and just as importantly (maybe more), we need to know our weaknesses.  Leadership guru Peter Drucker, in a classic Harvard Business Review article titled Managing Oneself, discusses this concept eloquently.  He points to the many ways that people ‘get things done’, and the many ways that people are held back from doing so.  Leaders need to understand, in my opinion that they can’t do everything on their own, and they need to organize a team that has people to complement their skills and abilities.

Vision.  As Bennis states, we need to have a vision that is well communicated.  Every successful organization has a vision of where it wants to be and has a team of executives who work to communicate that vision to their people.  We need to remember again that leadership is not about position, and it isn’t only the CEO of the company or the captain of the team who leads the group, everyone needs to act as a leader, and as I discussed in a previous post, it is everyone who needs to model ‘leader-like’ behaviors to those around them.  This is why it is so important that the vision of the organization and the vision of those who are formal leaders are communicated to everyone.  Without the vision being communicated effectively it will not be lived by all those who need to model it.

Trust.  Building trust among colleagues.  This is a blog in and of itself (and will be in the future.)  Researchers, scholars, and authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, whose groundbreaking work became The Leadership Challenge, identified trust as one of the keys to positive outcomes for leaders.  Think about the many traits that leaders must exhibit in order to be successful, and then think about what would happen if they exhibited all these great traits and behaviors, but they didn’t have the trust of those around them.  What would happen?  More importantly, what wouldn’t happen?  Well, chances are that you wouldn’t follow for long, right?   In order for a leader to most effectively lead his or her team there needs to be mutual trust between leader and follower.  If you don’t have a relationship built on trust you may follow a leader for a while, but eventually you will stop.  If you have trust the relationship will continue and will be mutually beneficial.

Leadership Potential.  So, how do we, as Warren Bennis says, take effective action to realize our leadership potential.  To me, this is the easy part, sign up for either the Master of Arts in Leadership or Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership at Albertus Magnus College.   These are two great ways to take action to realize your leadership potential.  Other ways we can realize our potential are by simply buying a book on leadership or on any topic we are interested in and want to learn about.  We can also sign up for a class or workshop, watch a documentary, serve on a board, help a nonprofit, or do just about anything that we will find fulfilling and help us grow.  In order to realize our potential we must (once again), know our self, and become the best at being our self.  There are many great ways to realize our leadership potential, but I have to admit, my favorite is still signing up for a degree program at Albertus Magnus College.

I hope you enjoyed the short introductory video from my workshop and over the next several months please check back here at the Albertus Magnus Blog for more insights on leadership from me as well as the distinguished faculty, students, and alumni of the Albertus Leadership Programs.  As always, I invite you to please respond to this post with your comments, examples, and insights, and also email me with any questions or insights you have!

Howard C. Fero, Ph.D.
The Leadership Doc
Director, Graduate Leadership Programs
Associate Professor of Business and Leadership
Albertus Magnus College

Howard FeroDr. Howard Fero, is an Associate Professor of Business and Leadership and the Director of Graduate Leadership programs at Albertus Magnus College. When not teaching classes and overseeing the Leadership programs at Albertus Dr. Fero uses his expertise to help individuals and organizations achieve optimal performance and effectiveness as The Leadership Doc. Dr. Fero will be blogging about different leadership topics throughout the year and speaks about these topics in his classes in the Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership Programs. He welcomes your comments and looks forward to communicating with you in our exciting new blog.