Mount Aloysius Convocation Marks Formal Start of 2014-2015 Academic Year

Posted on: August 26, 2014

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Cresson, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College will mark the start of the 2014-2015 academic year with their  traditional Convocation Ceremony on Thursday, September 4th .  The Mount Aloysius College Convocation will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Whalley Plaza, directly in front of the iconic Main Building on the 193-acre Cresson campus.  Convocation Speaker will be The Reverend William J. Byron, SJ.   Father William Byron’s address will formally inaugurate Mount Aloysius College’s theme for the new academic year, “The Good Life.”   The theme was announced by Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley to the College’s incoming freshman and their parents as they participated in “Move-in Day” for the class of 2018.

Convocation will formally open the academic year; allowing students, staff, faculty and members of the Mount Aloysius Board of Trustees an opportunity to convene, set a common tone for the exciting year ahead and embark on the campus-wide exploration of, “The Good Life.”  That exploration will be marked by a yearlong speaker series.  In addition, students and faculty will explore ‘The Good Life” through a common campus reader, community service activities, in-class discussion and other avenues of exploration both in and out of the classroom will also take place.

Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley looks forward to welcoming the noted Jesuit writer and educator back to the Cresson campus.  “Father Bill Byron was born in western Pennsylvania and raised in the southeastern part of our state.   His story is a Mount Aloysius story.  Raised by a single parent after the early death of his father, he took the committed sprit of a US veteran, welded it in faith to the ethos of the Jesuit order and applied a world-class mind to a life of service.  He is a prolific writer and a gifted speaker.  We all look forward to his return to Mount Aloysius College.”

Last year Mount Aloysius College explored “The Common Good” through a series of formal community lectures and a multitude of other events.  Those lectures will be available in a soon to be published monograph.  The 2014-2015 academic year marks the fifth consecutive year Mount Aloysius College has chosen a campus–wide theme for formal exploration.

The 2014-2015 Convocation Speaker is a familiar friend of Mount Aloysius College.  Reverend William J. Byron, SJ was the Mount Aloysius College Commencement Speaker for Spring Commencement 2011.  In recognition of his humanitarian contributions as a founder and chair of Bread for the World, and a founding board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service and many other accomplishments as an economist/humanitarian, Catholic education leader and a prolific author; Mount Aloysius College conferred the Honorary Doctor of Social Justice degree on Father Byron during the 2011 Commencement.

A native of the Pittsburgh area, Father Byron grew up in Philadelphia, where he attended Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School.  After serving in the Army’s 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in 1945-46, he attended Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia for three years before entering the Jesuit order in 1950. He was ordained a priest in 1961.

Father Byron served as president of The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC from 1982 to 1992.  He was distinguished professor of the practice of ethics and rector of the Georgetown Jesuit Community from 1992 to 2000.  From August 2000 until June 2003, he was pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.  During the 2003-04 academic year, he served as interim president of Loyola University New Orleans.  He was president of Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia from 2006 to 2008. From 1975 to 1982, he was president of the University of Scranton, Scranton, Pa.

Father Byron currently serves as University Professor of Business and Society at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa.  He writes a syndicated bi-weekly column, “Looking Around,” for Catholic News Service and has authored more than a dozen books.  He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD; two theology degrees from Woodstock College, Baltimore, MD; a bachelor’s in philosophy and master’s in economics from Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO; and a certificate in educational management from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

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