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St. Bonaventure faculty and staff joined colleagues from 23 other Franciscan institutions for the AFCU (Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities) 2018 Symposium at the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Ill., June 5-7.
The theme of this biennial symposium was “With Living Stones: Building a Franciscan Future…Together.” The sessions were categorized by the main themes of Relationships, Sacramentality and Gospel. Keynote addresses were given by colleagues very much a part of St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Institute, Dr. Tim Johnson, Sr. Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ, and Sr. Nancy Scheck, O.S.F., former president of Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).
In regards to relationships, approximately 25 SBU alums — working in various positions at AFCU institutions — attended the symposium. Two AFCU universities have St. Bonaventure alumni as presidents: Br. Ed Coughlin, ’70, O.F.M., at Siena College, Dr. Chris Domes, ’85, and his wife, Mary (Gelen), ’86, of Neumann University. In addition, SBU participants were able to spend time with colleagues and alums Bob Till, Ph.D., ’76, of Neumann University and Rick Trietley, ’86, VP of Student Affairs at Viterbo University.
Symposium presentations by School of Business faculty Joe Coate, Mike Gallagher, Heather McDivitt and John Stevens were well attended. Their session topics included “Francis and the Free Market…Today’s Bottom Billions,” “Yesterday Luca Pacioli…Management,” and “Franciscan Values and the Warming House.”
Fr. David B. Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., director of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure, provided an address, “Franciscan Mission Officers: Task, Roll, and Authority.” University Ministries was represented by Amanda Naujoks, ’98, and Kate Dillon-Hogan. Jill Smith provided Franciscan Institute publications for the AFCU participants.
Along with Trietley, Dr. Paula Scraba, associate professor of education, presented “Student Veterans are the Living Stones for Building a Franciscan Future Together.” Scraba also presented “Embracing the Franciscan Imagination” with alumna Sr. Anita Holzmer, O.S.F., ’11, vice president for mission at the University of Saint Francis at Ft. Wayne, Ind. Scraba and Holzmer are members of the Editorial Board for the Franciscan Institute Publication “Build With Living Stones.”
St. Bonaventure University hosted the first AFCU Symposium in 2004. This gathering has become a reunion for colleagues across the nation at Franciscan universities. All are enriched by the formal and informal discussions relevant to all of the AFCU schools, noted Scraba. The 2020 AFCU Symposium will be hosted by alumnus Domes and Neumann University in Aston, Pa., June 2-4, 2020, with the theme “Distinctively Franciscan, Vibrantly Catholic: The Franciscan Tradition’s Unique Contribution to Catholic Education.” As information becomes available, it will be posted on Neumann’s website, www.neumann.edu. All are welcomed and encouraged to consider this tremendous opportunity in 2020.
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