UD News 2020
According to a team of University of Dallas juniors, there's an optimal water-to-sand ratio, roughly 6%, along with a borrowed methodology that's endured the test of time dating back to the relics of the Old Kingdom. The students' research, titled "The Best Sandcastles Are Egyptian: Pyramids Reign Supreme," was awarded a Meritorious designation in the International Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) -- a first in university history.
Savoy, the leading African American business and lifestyle magazine, recently dubbed University of Dallas alumnus and Gupta College of Business Hall of Fame recipient Irvin Ashford Jr., MBA '00, among its 2020 list of elite Black executives. The listing garnered Ashford industry recognition along with the likes of Robert Smith, billionaire founder of Vista Equity Partners, out of more than 500 prospective candidates.
The University of Dallas has announced a new assistant vice president for marketing and communications. Clare Venegas, who has over 20 years of executive management and strategic communications experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, begins her new role on Aug. 3.
Nearly all businesses are affected gravely in many circumstances by today's unsettled economic environment. The anxiety is compounded by uncertainty: How long will the crisis last, and what will business look like on the other side of recovery? Through this adversity, faculty experts in the University of Dallas' Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business are paving a global discussion.
Associate Professor of English Greg Roper, Ph.D., BA '84, and Associate Professor of English Andrew Moran, BA '91 PhD '04, have co-edited a book to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rome Program and the 25th anniversary of the Eugene Constantin Campus (aka, of course, Due Santi): "Due Santi and the University of Dallas: Un Piccolo Paradiso."
After UD's Irving campus shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Personal Career Development recognized that many current students had either lost summer internships or had not been able to secure internships. They proposed to the university administration that UD launch a program to help those students by funding internships at nonprofit organizations whose missions and values aligned with UD's.
The University of Dallas has announced a new general counsel, Heather A. Lachenauer, and chief financial officer, Robert Watling. Both of these roles are filling positions left vacant by Lachenauer and Watling's predecessors.
Chair and Associate Professor of English Debra Romanick Baldwin, Ph.D., and Professor of Physics and recent Interim Dean of Constantin College Sally Hicks, Ph.D., have secured a $299,078 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support writing instruction at UD for the fall 2020 semester.
His first step was to enroll in physician’s assistant school at Baylor’s College of Medicine, a career trajectory to which he had aspired since his early childhood. Nowadays, Jonathan Cunningham, BA ’17, is dedicated to the vocational pursuit of comfort and healing at MD Anderson in Houston, among the largest cancer treatment centers in the U.S., where he was once a chemotherapy patient himself.
During his Rome semester in 1991, Joseph Meaney, BA '93, with his friends (now Father) Kevin Cook, BA '94, and (now Texas State Representative and UD Trustee) Tan Parker, BA '93, attended a private Mass with Pope St. John Paul II. Several weeks earlier, they had hand-delivered a letter to the Swiss Guards outside St. Peter's requesting the Mass and including their contact information; at last, they'd received the phone call instructing them to be at the Bronze Gates at 5 a.m.
From the time he was in fourth grade, Bishop Francis Malone, BA '74 MA '77 MDiv '77, knew he was going to be a priest. As he was serving Mass in his home parish, Malone heard God's call, loud and clear.
Cathleen (Gilmore) Guinn, BA ’91, Milagros “Millie” Lozano, Ph.D., BA ’91, and Anna (Gordon) Torres, BA ’91, met at the Cap Bar in November 2018, almost 30 years after their spring 1989 Rome semester. Excited to see each other (and Super Dave), inspired by the photos of Rome on the walls, and invigorated by their conversation and shared memories, these three onetime Rome “sisters” conceived the idea of gathering several of their former classmates for a weekend reunion.
While students mourned the sudden switch to online schooling and the abrupt end of in-person gatherings with classmates and friends, the online portion of the semester also led to surprising creativity.
University of Dallas President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, announced the appointment of David Andrews, Ph.D., BS '90, former associate dean, longtime assistant professor of mathematics and department chairman, as interim dean of the university's Constantin College of Liberal Arts.
The University of Dallas announced today a successful close to the 2019-20 fiscal year, which ended May 31. Total cash gifts received in the 2019-20 fiscal year totaled nearly $4.9 million. This figure represents a 24% increase in received revenue as compared to the 2018-19 fiscal year.
For the first time, the complete edited works of Thomas More are available in contemporary English through one book and one website. Between the recently published book "The Essential Works of Thomas More," co-edited by Professor of English Gerard B. Wegemer and Stephen Smith, Ph.D. '01, and essentialmore.org, the project comprises the most complete collection of the works written by the English man of letters Thomas More.
Leaving e-learning support sessions during the extended spring break, I observed many of our most senior and revered full professors making their way to the next one. Faced with a task they surely never considered probable, they willingly did what they had to in order to ensure that our students received the best education we could give them — regardless of environment.
Luisa Velasco, BA '22, who became the ninth UD student to receive a prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship this spring, especially enjoys the problem-solving aspect of research.
When it came time for Ana Henriquez, BA '20 and Class of 2020 valedictorian, to pick a college, she knew she wanted a small, Catholic, liberal arts university that offered both biology and Latin. That sounds like UD in a nutshell, and she thought so too. In the spring of her senior year of high school at The Atonement Academy in San Antonio, as she approached UD's campus for her last visit, she knew she would spend the next four years there and shouted to her mom, "Look, that's my tower! That's my home!"
Given his strong UD legacy, Bill Bennett, BS '20, was practically destined to attend the University of Dallas. Stories about UD's Rome Program and rugby were essential aspects of Bennett's childhood given that both of his parents, as well as many extended relatives, are UD alumni. But while UD was in his blood, he ultimately chose UD because he wanted both a liberal arts education and a degree in physics, and he knew UD was the best place to combine the two.
It is not uncommon for the University of Dallas (UD) and the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to get confused, and Adella Klinte, BA '20, was unfortunately subject to that confusion. When she applied to UD, Klinte thought she was applying to UTD. Crazy though it may seem, Klinte thinks it was God's plan all along.
Sitting in her bedroom at home, away from UD for her last weeks of college, Mary Rose Corkery, BA '20, cannot help but think about being on campus. She wishes for more of her favorite moments, like sitting on the Cap Bar patio after an early morning run, sipping coffee and waiting for campus to wake up. To see a place that is usually so vibrant and alive so quiet always filled Corkery with a peaceful silence that cannot be replicated -- but this is only one of many ways in which UD affected Corkery.
For many people, traveling over 8,000 miles to school might be too far, but not for Yeabkal Wubshit, BS '20. Hailing from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Wubshit came to UD at the recommendation of a friend who was a current student at the university. The first time he set foot on campus was when he arrived for UD's Orientation.
When COVID-19 hit, Maria Rossini, BA '20, was disappointed to have to leave her friends so suddenly, especially during her last semester at UD. And although she may have more time on her hands now, she says that "capturing the energy and support of the community has been difficult" -- a sentiment that will surely resonate with any student.
"Music on the Mall" every Friday afternoon is a treasured tradition for many students at UD. Between the music, the occasional barbecue, and the friends, it comes as no surprise that the weekly celebration attracts prospective students such as Andrew Butler, BA '20, once was.
Marge Novacek, BA '20, had no plans to come to UD until April of her senior year of high school. At her mother's urging she decided she would visit, sure she did not want to go so far from her home in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. During her visit she had some time to sit on the mall, contemplating and observing like a true (almost) UD student. It was in these moments, noting the people and the friendships in front of her, that she knew it was the place for her.
We are prepared to adapt instructional and residential models to protect the safety and health of our entire community. I look forward to seeing UD students on campus in a few short months.
Amandhi Mathews, BS '20, has not been home in two years. Home is Sri Lanka, and it is too far and too expensive to make the trip frequently, so she spent last summer conducting research at Harvard University. Then, a day before she found out she wouldn't be able to return to UD's Irving campus after spring break (which she was spending with a friend's family in Arizona), her country closed its airports.
"Wonder," Josef Pieper writes, acts upon us "like a shock." The "dislocation" that accompanies wonder unsettles whatever "had been taken for granted as being natural or self-evident." There is perhaps no better articulation of the vision of liberal education at UD.
"On Thursday, February 6, I arrived in Geneva, worn out from four days of classes, three bus rides, and a rocky EasyJet flight, expecting to have cell service. I didn't have cell service. Luckily, I did have the name of my destination -- CERN, the international European particle physics laboratory -- and a brief note explaining my situation to the French guards," writes John Rabaey, BS '22.
In the current COVID-19 crisis, the love of Danny Fitzpatrick, BA '13, for Italy, appreciation for his time there, and a creative collaboration with sculptor Tim Schmalz have led to a specific way of rendering aid to the country beloved by so many UD alumni and one-time Romers.
Edisson Ramos, BA '20, is one of many students receiving assistance from UD's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which has currently raised nearly $90,000; the first of the funds were distributed last week to help students make their April rent, and Director of Financial Aid Taryn Anderson, BA '07, is in the process of distributing a second wave to students with housing or food insecurity or in need of Wi-Fi or other resources for online learning.
In our current condition, with most of the U.S. sheltering in place and/or learning and working from our homes, it's hard to imagine that just 20 days ago, teachers and those aspiring to be teachers gathered together for the fourth annual Excellence in Education conference at the University of Dallas, organized, run and sponsored by UD's Education Department, but so they did, and so we will all do -- gather together, that is -- some day again.
Many of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help, and I am grateful for your generosity. In response, I have created the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to immediately help UD students in this rapidly evolving situation.
As we find ourselves deprived of many things that we had taken for granted, we turn to Christ, who was stripped of everything: physical safety, companionship, worldly honor, even his clothing, and ultimately of life itself.
Assistant Professor of Human and Social Sciences Carla Pezzia, Ph.D., and Associate Professor and Chair of Economics Tammy Leonard, Ph.D., have received a federal grant for $250,000 to support their research on food insecurity among the senior citizens in our community and what can be done to help. Their work will be supported with a research contract from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research through funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.
This spring, 22 University of Dallas psychology students were accepted to present at the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) Conference. Hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington, the conference was originally scheduled for April 3-5 but will now be held in August; it will involve several lectures from distinguished speakers, as well as student presentations.
Assistant Professor of Physics Will Flanagan, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $450,000 contract from the Air Force for his work in developing the world's smallest neutron detector. Of this grant, $135,000 will go to UD to support Flanagan's work with undergraduate physics students in the Physics Department at UD; the remainder will go to the small business colleagues in Austin with whom the UD team is collaborating.
On Wednesday, Feb. 19, members of the university community gathered to celebrate the endowment of the Father Thomas Matthias Cain, O.P., Memorial Scholarship in Philosophy by Trustee Annmarie (Flynn) Kelly, BA '91, and her husband, Robert (Bob) Kelly, MA '92 PhD '95. This scholarship will support philosophy majors at the University of Dallas.
The University of Dallas' 2020 Eugene McDermott Lecture, "Culture Care in an Age of Divisiveness: Toward a Kintsugi Generation -- Mend to Make New," will feature leading contemporary artist Makoto Fujimura. Fujimura is also recognized as an arts advocate, a writer, a speaker and a worldwide cultural influencer.
Aspiring lawyer Alexa Hassell, BA '23, had never heard of UD until the summer before her senior year of high school, when she participated in the university's summer program Arete, which serves as an introduction to the classics. When it came time to apply for college, UD was the only school to which she applied.
Back in October, five University of Dallas alumni physicians held a Skype Question & Answer panel for UD undergraduates aspiring to enter health care professions. Hosted by the Biology Department, the panel provided the opportunity for current students who plan to work in health care to see how other UD graduates have used their liberal arts education to pursue such a path.
The University of Dallas has been closely monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) due to the rapid increase of cases appearing in Northern Italy.
As a senior in high school, William Hebert, BA '23, didn't want to venture too far from his Cajun homeland of Lafayette, Louisiana. After touring six universities between Texas and Louisiana, Hebert was sold on UD, which was one of the farthest schools.
Ismail Guneydas, an adjunct instructor in the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business Cybersecurity program, has recently been awarded a U.S. patent -- the second U.S. patent received by a Cybersecurity faculty member in UD's Cybersecurity program in a 6-month period.
Last fall, Crossroads Community Services received the BUILD Health Challenge award to advance affordable nutrition and health services in low-income communities. Along with several Dallas-area health care services, the University of Dallas has supported this project, with Associate Professor of Economics Tammy Leonard, Ph.D., at the movement's helm.
"Recitation takes on the lineaments of meditation and activates powers of the soul which otherwise would remain dormant," said University Professor Louise Cowan, Ph.D., in an address given to the newest members of UD's chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts honor society in spring 2013.
The 2020 Cor Challenge, which ran Feb. 11 - 15, was the most successful Cor Challenge ever in terms of both number of donors and dollars received. With 732 donors (a 3.8% increase over 2019), it raised a total of $200,185 (a 7.4% increase over 2019).
The annual National March for Life took place in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24 -- and for the first time, Crusaders for Life -- UD's largest student organization -- represented the university there in an official capacity. Forty students, including 25 freshmen, made the trip.
Elise Williams, BA '23, enjoys baking and once won an award for her soda bread at an Irish cultural festival and dance competition. "I like to joke that I won an award at a dance competition, but I didn't have to dance," she said. Now that she's at UD, however, one of Williams' favorite ways to spend her time on campus is participating in the Swing Club on Wednesday nights.
"I stand before you today with the hope that I share something that will reinforce all of the bishops and the work of MLK ... as they call us to be the change in the area of racism," said Tasha Coble Ginn, principal of Cristo Rey Fort Worth High School and keynote speaker at UD's 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, which took place on Friday, Jan. 24.
"The UD mission and Core Curriculum are sometimes described in terms of the twin pillars of Western civilization, Athens and Jerusalem," said 2019 King Fellow and Associate Professor of Theology Mark Goodwin, Ph.D., giving the traditional King Fellow address as the previous year's King Fellow at this year's ceremony on Jan. 21.
UD's MBA and Master of Science programs culminate in the Capstone Experience, which has provided business solutions and strategy to hundreds of corporate and community organizations. This past fall, MBA students worked with clients such as Bishop Lynch High School, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit System (DART), the Dallas Mavericks and the Federal Reserve Bank.
The University of Dallas' Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery is excited to celebrate the life, work and lasting influence of the late Heri Bert Bartscht, emeritus professor of art and founder of the university's sculpture program in 1961, with the opening reception of Heri Bert Bartscht: 100 Years.
The University of Dallas is proud to announce the launch of a new long-term, wide-ranging partnership with Bishop Louis Reicher Catholic School in Waco, Texas, in which the university will provide a unified, dynamic and traditional Catholic K-12 curriculum. "This beautiful one-of-a-kind partnership will benefit Bishop Louis Reicher and the broader Waco community in countless ways," said Bishop Louis Reicher President Blake Evans.
UD is proud to offer Dallas grocery shoppers a free wine tasting of Due Sant Wines at Central Market on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, featuring the second market release of the 2016 Due Santi Rosso vintage.
Noted legal scholar and Princeton University professor Robert P. George will address the Class of 2020 during the 61st annual Spring Commencement Ceremony at the University of Dallas. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 17, at The Theatre at Grand Prairie.
UD’s Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business honored and celebrated its recipients of the 2020 Hall of Fame during the annual award ceremony on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Inductees included Gail Warrior Suchy, MBA ’99, CEO of CASPR Group; Michael Stedman Wyatt, MBA ’91, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield of Texas; and John L. Zogg, Jr., MBA ’92, managing director at Crescent Real Estate LLC.
On Dec. 23, 2019, the university bid farewell to a beloved faculty member and alumnus. Professor of English John Alvis, BA '66 MA '69 PhD '73, passed away at age 75, less than two weeks after the passing of his wife, Sara Kathleen, MA '71, to whom he was married for more than 50 years.
This is a a speech delivered at the King/Haggar Awards ceremony on
Feb. 17, 1989, by Dr. John Alvis the year after he had received
the King Award, as was and remains the custom.
The University of Dallas is pleased to announce the appointment of Kris Muñoz Vetter as assistant vice president for development. In this role, she will report to Jason Wu Trujillo, vice president for university advancement, and be responsible for UD’s major gifts, planned giving and foundation relations programs.