Dominican Heritage

Founders’ Day 2013

Albertus Magnus College will hold its second annual Founders’ Day to celebrate its heritage on Friday, September 20, 2013.  Founded by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace), Albertus Magnus College community remembers and celebrates its foundation on September 24, 1925.  The Dominican Sisters of Peace continue to sponsor the College.

To honor our global Dominican heritage, the theme of this year’s Founders’ Day is Dominicans: Think Globally, Act Locally.  Putting us in touch with this global reality will be three presenters who will share with us the blessings and challenges of Dominicans from different parts of the globe.

Our presenters are Sr. Germaine Conroy, O.P. (Peru), Sr. Patricia Idoko, O.P. (Nigeria), and Sr. Judy Morris, O.P. (United States).  In addition, three Albertus Magnus College students will respond to the presenters: Ginette Gonzalez ’14, Kevin Jorgensen ’15 and Dorothea Maher ’16.

Another featured event on Founders’ Day is Candlelight Ceremony for the Class of 2017 and transfer students.  This tradition goes back to the earliest days of the College.  The ceremony consists of the passing of the light of knowledge from the seniors to the newest students.

Founders’ Day will conclude with a presentation of the VERITAS Award, given to an individual or a group who have demonstrated a commitment to the ideals and values of Albertus Magnus College.  This year the College is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees, during their June meeting, voted unanimously to confer the Albertus Magnus College VERITAS Award on Sr. Germaine Conroy, O.P.

Sr. Germaine is a former Trustee of Albertus Magnus College and was, during the time of her trusteeship, also a member of the Executive Committee and Secretary of the Albertus Magnus College Corporation.

As a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Sr. Germaine’s service and ministry has included a long-term commitment to education, most especially during her time in Chimbote, Peru, where for many years, she ministered with other Dominican Sisters of Peace.

A reception in honor of Sr. Germaine will close the Founders’ Day festivities.

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 to 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.

Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven

This week we welcome guest blogger Kate Walton, MA, Executive Director of the Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven.  You can reach Kate directly at

 Albertus is proud to support the work of IVCG.  You can help by participating in the Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon, hosted by Albertus Magnus College on October 20, 2013.  Learn more at Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon or visit their Facebook page here

Back in 1984 an extraordinary handful of local New Haven folks from a bunch of different churches, temples, synagogues and mosques got together and responded to an extraordinary opportunity.  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had put forth national funding to encourage interfaith dialogue between congregations for the purpose of creating volunteer services for the elderly.  Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven was selected for funding in the first national round, and now some 30 years later, this small organization continues its vital mission.

Who knew just how many little old ladies and gentlemen were out there living well into their 90’s and even some 100’s in their own home sweet homes?  “Aging at Home” is now a “model” these days but when I became director of IVCG just over a year ago I knew that IVCG had pioneered the model a long time ago.  Back in the early 1990’s,  I found myself in the sandwich generation when Parkinson’s Disease  ravaged my amazing mother and I heard there was a program of friendly visiting and neighborly assistance.  One phone call resulted in a wonderful lady materializing that proved to become a dear friend to my mother and a loyal companion for the remaining years of her life.  Much later on, when offered the position to lead Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers after many years as a human service non-profit administrator; I knew that this was an opportunity to both give back for the help given to my own family, and to work for a very worthy endeavor.  Only now do I fully comprehend how prescient and essential was the thinking of IVCG’s founders.

According to the 2014 Action Plan of the CT Commission on Aging, during the next 15 years the 65+ population in Connecticut will increase by an astounding 64%.   The population 21 to 65 years of age will decline by 2%.   Clearly, Connecticut needs to be expanding creative and responsive programming that provides strategic support that enables elders to continue living independently in their own homes for way longer than they would be able to – without strategic assistance.   Friendships, reassurance and the sharing of intellectual, artistic and cultural interests make life profoundly more meaningful for the homebound elder – and the volunteers who give of themselves.  Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven provides about 500 hours of free service each month transporting to medical appointments, taking elders food shopping and visiting them in their homes.

Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven is supported by the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut and our partnering congregations, donors, and hardworking dedicated volunteers.   We also partner with other local non-profit service organizations to provide Thanksgiving meals to over 800 local homebound seniors on Thanksgiving Day, and to raise funds through the Cook and Care Walkathon  – hosted this year for the first time at Albertus Magnus College.

NEXT WEEK – Learn more about the Cook and Care Collaboration.

“An education that …is practical in its application”

As part of the ePortfolio classes Albertus Magnus College students have an opportunity to write about the mission statement of the college and how this statement impacts their lives now as college students and in the future.  Student Matthew Mezzei from Wallingford, CT, a member of the Class of 2016, shared his thoughts on the mission statement promise to “…provides men and women with an education that … is practical in its application.”

The Albertus mission statement is something I found interesting when applying for schools last year.  One of the things that stuck out was that it says the school “…provides men and women with an education that … is practical in its application”.  For students today it is essential to go to college.  The purpose of going to college is to gain experience which will lead to future employment.  Therefore learning what you will need to know for a particular career is very important.  By teaching students essentials, Albertus graduates will have a degree that is more than a piece of paper.  They will be prepared for the career they have chosen.

As an Albertus Magnus student I have seen the importance the college places on relevant work experiences.  I have already begun teacher observations for the Education Program this semester.  I am able to see how a class operates and learn teaching methods from experienced faculty.  These opportunities will enable me to graduate with a degree that “…is practical in its application”.

Albertus Magnus College also encourages student and teacher interactions.  I keep in contact with the majority of my teachers.  It is important for me to maintain these positive relations as I move toward my degree.  The close-knit community of Albertus encourages me to be a …”responsible, productive citizen and lifelong learner”.

I would respond to a prospective student positively about Albertus.  I would not mention the mission statement specifically, but I would bring up the fact that the school emphasizes its close-knit community and it is something that is not found at many colleges.  Every teacher knows you by name and most students are familiar with nearly everyone.  It is a great feeling when you are known by your teacher and not seen as just another student.  I would make note of the diverse student body and friendly environment of the campus.  In addition I would also mention how the college already placed me in a relevant work setting to what I will be doing after I graduate, and I am only a freshmen.  Overall, Albertus is unique in a good way and prospective students should look at the college as a possible choice for their future.

To read more about Albertus’ Dominican Heritage click here.