The Saint Peter’s University Community Comes Together to Celebrate the Future

Today the Saint Peter’s University community celebrated the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year and its first year as a University in the best way possible – by asking for God’s blessing.

“Impossible is not a fact, it is an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration, it is a dare. We have nothing to fear, for nothing is impossible when God is ours.”

These were the words that echoed through St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church as Rev. Jose-Luis Salazar, S.J., gave the homily during the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which kicked off the campus-wide celebration of university status. “May this spirit of the truth that sets us free, burn away all timidity and diffidence as we announce our identity as the Jesuit University of New Jersey,” said Fr. Salazar as he ended his homily.

Faculty, students, administration, alumni and staff were all present during the Mass where Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University, asked each one of these groups to stand as he prayed for God to bless them and guide their work in the months ahead.

The celebration was just beginning as the Mass ended and the entire University community gathered in the Quad for food and fun. Paige Vicari ’15 and Karina Valentin ‘15, sophomores at the University, enjoyed cheeseburgers and hot dogs as they listened to the music and celebrated at the party in the Quad. “We were looking forward to attending today’s event,” said Paige. “This year is even bigger and better than last.”

Leading the way as a University with God’s blessing was a theme that carried out through the entire celebration. The crowd cheered as Dr. Cornacchia welcomed everyone to the first Saint Peter’s University BBQ. “St. Ignatius tells us that gratitude is the foundation of our whole relationship with God and we certainly have a lot to be grateful for at Saint Peter’s. The Lord has blessed us with scores of talented people over the years who worked so hard to ensure that this day would come. God has also blessed us with committed, hardworking students and faculty, past and present. My biggest thank you today, goes to you,” he said.

Following the University Celebration BBQ in the Quad, many made their way to the Theresa and Edward O’Toole Library to see the latest exhibit, “Saint Peter’s from College to University: Highlights through the Decades, 1872-2012." The exhibit serves as a visual history lesson about the growth of Saint Peter’s over the last 140 years, beginning with the original charter for the institution up to the most recent events, such as the construction of The Mac Mahon Student Center and the implementation of the Ed.D. in higher education. As the group enjoyed each other’s company and admired the significant changes that Saint Peter’s experienced over the years, the joyful feeling that the best is yet to come filled the room.