2015-2016 Theme - Called to Greatness | Benedictine College

2015-2016 Theme - Called to Greatness

College Recommits Itself to ‘Benedictine 2020’ After Significant Successes

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Each year, Benedictine College Student Life, Ministry and President Stephen D. Minnis choose a theme to guide the college  through the next academic year. At the halfway point of Benedictine College’s bold, visionary strategic plan, Benedictine 2020: A Vision for Greatness, the theme for the 2015-16 school year is “Called to Greatness.”

Speaking to university students in 2013, Pope Francis, who visits the United States this fall, said college is a call to greatness.

“The main element at school is to learn to be magnanimous,” he said. “What does being magnanimous mean? It means having a great heart, having greatness of mind; it means having great ideals, the wish to do great things to respond to what God asks of us.”

President Minnis said the Pope’s quote is an excellent explanation of the Benedictine College mission. “Greatness of heart corresponds to community, great ideals correspond to faith, and greatness of mind corresponds to scholarship,” he said.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who will visit the Benedictine campus in Atchison, Kan., to deliver the keynote address for Commencement in May 2016, also commented on the relationship between college and greatness.

“A university’s genuine greatness comes not from pursuing what is most chic, recent, or faddish, but what is most timeless, true, good, and beautiful in creation and creatures,” he said.

President Minnis said that the theme Called to Greatness” is nothing new for Benedictine.

“I tell our students that they could have taken a more comfortable route, an easier way, he said. But that is not for them,‘You were not built for comfort, you were built for greatness,’ as Pope Benedict said. You were not called to comfort, you were called to greatness. And that is what we expect from you; this is what you expect from yourself; this is what Our Lady expects from you; and this is what Jesus Christ expects from you.”

In the past, themes have included: “You are the One I have Chosen,” “Be the Light,” and “Forward, Always Forward.” 

This years theme comes halfway through the plan Benedictine 2020: A Vision for Greatness. The college’s strategic plan was developed starting in 2010 by faculty, staff, students and the board of directors. The college has made great advances in each of the plan’s key goals since 2010:

1. Educate America’s Future Leaders

  • New pianos earned Benedictine College the designation “All-Steinway School”
  • Benedictine added more than 30 new endowed scholarships and full-tuition National Merit Scholarships.
  • Benedictine created the Student Success Center for graduate school and career placement.

2. Build for Greatness

  • Benedictine added six new residence halls, three new academic buildings, two new chapels.
  • Benedictine built a new Recreation Center, new softball and baseball facilities, and upgrades to football and soccer.
  • New statuary: St. Benedict, St. Scholastica and Our Lady of Grace as well as Wangari Maathai.

3. Develop a World Class Faculty

  • Two new endowed faculty positions; in nursing and music.
  • Added: Nursing, Engineering disciplines, and Evangelization & Catechesis.
  • Faculty salaries rose by 40% to compete in the marketplace.

“These successes show that Benedictine College — and its students — are Called to Greatness,” President Minnis said.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.