When President Rhona Free, Ph.D., became the University’s ninth president on July 1, 2015, she joined a group of visionary leaders — women who formed and served the University’s mission since its founding in 1932. Like the University itself, the presidency has evolved over the years to meet the needs of our ever-changing society.
In the University’s early days, the president was the Major Superior of the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut, a position that oversaw 800 Mercy members. Consequently, the president delegated many executive functions to the dean, who oversaw the University's day-to-day operations and functioned much like the president does today.
Each fall, Convocation welcomes new and returning students in a traditional academic ceremony. Originally, the opening of the academic year was marked by a welcoming Mass. The modern-day Convocation, which began in 1987, blends the spiritual with the academic. Each year, the community gathers in The Connor Chapel of Our Lady and asks for God's blessing and guidance in the coming academic year. Following welcoming remarks by the president, the faculty winner of the Father John J. Stack Teaching Excellence Award addresses the congregation.
Investiture marks a significant event in the life of a scholar. It commemorates the advanced academic standing of members of the junior class by dressing the students in the scholar's garb for the first time. Juniors process to the Chapel in academic gowns and receive their caps from faculty members. The University first celebrated Investiture in 1934 in a ceremony that coincided with the Feast of the Presentation. Following Mass, juniors recited the "Catholic Students Prayer" and received communion. Faculty members and mothers of the junior class were then invited to join the students at a communion breakfast. Although the ceremony has changed over the years, the intent remains the same: Investiture provides an opportunity for the College community to recognize the students' academic advancement and to ask for God's continued blessing.
Since 1978, the University community has celebrated the Advent season with The Festival of Lights. A joyful celebration of music, dance, and liturgy, the festival involves many members of the community as active participants. Students, faculty, and staff read from the scriptures and the University's choir and liturgical dancers perform throughout the ceremony. Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, the Festival ends with a traditional lighting ceremony in which a light is passed throughout the congregation until all hold a lighted candle.
As a tradition, Baccalaureate Mass dates back to the first graduating class of Saint Joseph College. Essentially, it is a Mass held prior to Commencement to celebratethe accomplishments of the seniors. Baccalaureate Mass unites the community in worship one final time to bless the graduating students as they move into the next phase of their lives.
Commencement, of course, is the final ceremony of the college experience. Each May, graduating students receive their diplomas and move into the role of University of Saint Joseph alumni.
Reading Time: 2 minutes At The Hartford, a company with 200 years of expertise in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds offering a Freshman Experience Program makes sense for everyone involved. If you ask most first-year college students, typically about 18 years old if they want a career in property insurance they might need some help
Reading Time: 1 minute The University continues to monitor the guidance from federal, state, and local officials regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Aligned with our priority of meeting students’ educational needs while keeping faculty, students and staff safe, please note that as of Monday, March 23, 2020, all instruction offered by the University of Saint Joseph – including labs and
Reading Time: 3 minutes About 15 months before the lights got flipped on in the stadium, the Super Bowl LIV Host Committee was already starting to make plans in Miami, Fla., for February 2, 2020 – Game Day. The backbone of the series of events, including staffing for Game Day events is all of the volunteers and short-term paid
Reading Time: 2 minutes When USJ students get selected for a very competitive scholarship, you know there are going to be cheers heard around campus. Our entire community is grateful to the CVS Health Foundation for granting the University a $4,000 scholarship to distribute to deserving Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students. The excitement and gratitude was led by faculty
Reading Time: 1 minute On Friday, March 6 the 2019-2020 USJ basketball season officially came to a close. The men’s historic season ended with a hard-fought loss to Hobart in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament. In 2019-2020 the men captured their first-ever GNAC conference title, en route to a 26-3 record that included an unblemished
Reading Time: 1 minute At the Institute for Advanced Studies in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT) 15th-anniversary conference, USJ’s Reverend Joseph Cheah, OSM, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, shared his presentation titled, “Asian Pneumatology of the FABC and the Reimagining of the Hospitality and Spirituality in Asia”. Following the conference, his work was accepted by the prestigious international
Reading Time: 1 minute Freshman midfielder Noah Mocksfield (Colchester, Conn.) of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men’s lacrosse team was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Rookie of the Week, announced Monday, March 2, by conference officials. It marks the first time in program history that men’s lacrosse has received a weekly GNAC honor. OFFICIAL GNAC RELEASE Mocksfield set the bar for
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Dietetic Internship Certificate Program at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is widely recognized as a top program for individuals interested in pursuing careers in nutrition and dietetics. Alongside faculty guidance, students complete rotations in a variety of fields, giving them the experience that will help them succeed in the future. James Jamieson, a