This is the address delivered by Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D., on the occasion of his inauguration as 10th president of the University of Dallas on Oct. 1, 2021. Your Excellency, and Chancellor of...
Noah Torres, BA ’21, always knew he wanted to study theology and politics. In seventh grade, he found himself fascinated by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. This interest only grew through high school, and he found himself at UD on the recommendation of his theology teachers, who were themselves UD grads.
At the University of Dallas, students learn to grapple with the great thinkers of history. Natalie Villafranca, BA ’21, discovered a passion for something else ancient and all too often overlooked: our coral reefs.
It is common for new college graduates to still be a bit unsure what they want to be when they “grow up.” Veronica Rose Garcia, BA ’21, is not that sort of person. At a time in life when many people are simply looking toward their first job and hoping for the best, Garcia has detailed five- and 10-year plans for achieving multiple additional degrees and an ambitious career that will be of great service to the country and to the world.
As a high school student in Sri Lanka, Amandhi Mathews, BS ’21, found UD on the internet. She was drawn to the idea of a “Catholic university for independent thinkers'' and decided to apply, even though she did not know that Dallas is in Texas. Knowing that she wanted to study science, the liberal arts education with an opportunity to read classic literature was an added bonus.
Though she was unable to attend, Patrick McNeely’s Canadian sister first put the University of Dallas on his radar. His interest in the school continued to rise thanks to cheerful friends and mentors he met through The Grade, a program for high school boys in San Antonio.
When Claire Haley, BA ’21, was growing up, the University of Dallas was already a part of her life. Her father traveled around to different colleges to recruit teachers for the local Great Hearts Academy school in her hometown of Phoenix, and what he had to say about UD impressed her.
The Schneider family learned about UD from a family friend who at the time was in the seminary and is now a priest. He knew several people who attended UD and encouraged Blaise Schneider, BA ’21, to visit.
Like many UD students, Maureen (Mo) Shumay, BA ’21, first heard of UD through one of her older siblings, a sister who graduated in 2013. Initially, Shumay wasn’t keen on attending UD because she wanted to avoid following in her sister’s footsteps and being compared to her once again. She also had a somewhat subpar campus visit the Monday after Groundhog, though she now appreciates why everyone on campus looked so exhausted!
“Today more than ever, medicine needs physicians who understand the duality of the person and can attend to both aspects of the human person,” said John Rolwes, BA ’21. “If one is only able to assist the physical needs, then the underlying, spiritual/mental causes will continue to prevent the patient from fully recovering. UD has helped me understand this relationship well, and the education I’ve received will help me be a physician who can attend to both.”