Fr Barry FischerA Note from Fr. Barry Fischer, C.PP.S. - June 13th 2017

Fellow Pumas!

Since my first message to the alumni (May 30th), I had the opportunity to meet with the Board of Alumni in the Rensselaer Library. One of the suggestions made at that meeting was that I explain a little more about the Team that I put together to head up the "St. Joseph Phoenix Project." That is what I would like to address in this message.

As Rector of Saint Joseph´s College, it was my responsibility to name the members of the team. The criterion which motivated my choices were to bring on people with passion and love for St. Joe's and with administrative and educational expertise. They needed to be persons with experience in the academic as well as in the financial aspects. I looked for people who would have the mission in the center of their concern and ones who were not afraid to think outside the box as we imagine ways that St. Joe could reinvent itself.

Thus my choices:

Dr. Chad Pulver, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, is an administrator who clearly knows the academic world and has worked closely with the Higher Learning Commission and was diligent in helping the students to move on after St. Joe´s. He was a respected faculty member and administrator and who never lost the faculty's confidence nor did they doubt his passion for St. Joe's and his dedication.

Dr. Thomas Ryan, Associate Vice-President for Academics is a member of the local community for years and involved in academics at St. Joe for twenty-five years. He was a respected faculty member and was frequently cited by the students as one of their most appreciated professors.

Dr. Michael Nichols, Core Coordinator, knows the Core Program inside and out having been a student in Core and now serving as faculty member and Core Coordinator. He was already at work in revising and reimagening Core when the suspension of activities came. His experience and expertise are needed as we look at different models for the new Saint Joe's.

Spencer Conroy, Chief Financial Officer, with his keen mind and knowledge of the matters pertaining to finances, was confronted with the difficult reality of the College's impending financial insolvency and has been instrumental in articulating and developing a path forward which would provide us with the possibility of a resurrection. He has been an indispensable member of the team, both in "winding down" the campus and also in keeping the other members of the team grounded in reality as he studies the sustainability of what is being discussed for the future.

Sandy McMullen, as Director of Grants has been a valuable asset to our College and in the past has obtained substantial grant money for the school. As we move forward she is involved in our ongoing discussions about our future and will be ready to write grant requests as soon as we have a model approved as we move to the new St. Joe´s.

Sheila Hanewich, former Administrative Assistant to the President, now serves in that capacity to the Rector. She is a storehouse of information and in many ways, the living memory of St. Joe´s. She offers the team and myself an invaluable service.

I would like to acknowledge the women and men who are part of the "wind down" team. They are all working hard to secure the buildings and the grounds.

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood will continue to have a presence on campus.

Brother Rob Reuter, Brother Tim Hemm and I will be living in the student Residence Apartments. Brothers Rob and Tim will lend a hand to Mr. Dennis Black in maintenance and security.

All of the above-mentioned individuals love St. Joe's, as you do, and believe that we will have a future. That's what drives us and fills us with passion as we pursue our mission. Of course, it is not an easy task and at times we may hit bumps in the road, but we are not discouraged and we count on your prayers and the intercession of St. Joseph. We are inspired by these words of Pope Francis:

"Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Embrace the future with hope."

That same invitation I extend to all of you, my fellow Pumas, who are thankful for what you have lived at St. Joe´s and who have a passion for it. Together we embrace our future with hope.

I thank those alumni who have contacted me by phone, email, or letters offering their support and good wishes. I am keeping a data base of those who have offered their services as we move forward and will be drawing upon them as we need consultation or input for specific aspects. We have set up an email account for those who would be interested in volunteering their services, offering suggestions or just providing feedback. Thank you for your good will!

I will continue to give you periodic updates as we move along.

Have a great summer.

Fr. Barry