Responding to the White House Executive Order

The following message was shared with the Saint Anselm College campus community on Monday, January 30. In addition, I have co-signed statements from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (excerpt/link below), and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, in which nearly 50 higher education associations present a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly requesting a meeting to ensure any efforts to safeguard our nation do not interfere with our nation’s long tradition of educating students from around the world.

On Friday afternoon, the White House issued an Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which addresses new standards for refugee, immigrant, and nonimmigrant entry into the United States.

At present, the ultimate outcome of this order (and subsequent orders and legislation) is uncertain and it may take months for clear policies to develop; however, we know that this may directly impact members of the Anselmian community, from students, faculty and staff to alumni and friends. We advise that those from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen legally residing in the United States avoid travel outside the U.S. during this period if possible and consult an immigration attorney if travel is necessary.

Saint Anselm College is an institution that values the contributions of our international students, faculty and staff deeply. We are committed to providing support and resources to those in need, and to upholding our mission and values of diversity and inclusiveness.

In that spirit, today I am in our nation’s capital, participating in the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). I would like to share with you an excerpt from the statement released yesterday by this organization:

"Pope Francis has said that 'authentic hospitality is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.' As ACCU gathers…to celebrate the value of diversity within Catholic higher education, we reaffirm the commitment of our institutions to creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments that embrace people of all faiths and cultures. Catholic higher education was founded precisely to serve the children of Catholic immigrants who in their own time were excluded from higher education. This is a legacy that we proudly pledge to continue."

Indeed, hospitality is not only our greatest security against hatred and violence, but also one of the core Benedictine values which we as Anselmians seek always to live. I know that you will join me in keeping the immigrants and refugees of every nation in your thoughts and prayers today and every day.

A Christmas Message: Timeless Anselmian Traditions

Dear Members of the Saint Anselm College Community,

Christmas is a special time at Saint Anselm College; memories made on the Hilltop during this season will resonate for years to come. We hope you will enjoy this year’s Christmas video, celebrating the many unforgettable moments and timeless traditions that we celebrate as Anselmians during this blessed time of year.

As we gather with friends and family in the coming days, let us embrace the spirit of Christmas through prayer and charity. We must remain forever mindful of those in times of crisis and need close to home, and around the world. May peace and prosperity be among the many blessings for all in the new year ahead.

A new season of traditions, challenges and opportunity will greet our campus community when we return to campus in a few short weeks. Classrooms will once again fill with ideas as our faith seeks understanding. Service organizations will receive our students for a week of volunteering, and solidarity. Student-athletes will return to spirited competition, and residence halls will come back to life. Let us give thanks for each and every opportunity we have to better ourselves and our world, now and always.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and best wishes for a joyous new year.

Steven and Eileen DiSalvo

A Thanksgiving Reflection

Dr. Steven and Eileen DiSalvoAs we gather with friends and family to share a meal of Thanksgiving this week, we celebrate coming together, even as we reflect on the uncertain times in which we find ourselves. I urge you to always celebrate that which unites us, working together to understand and overcome our differences. We must move forward with faith – exhibiting pride, dignity and respect for all.

The Rule of Saint Benedict reminds us to “listen with the ear of your heart.” We are blessed to be part of a community founded on that core belief and our college remains committed to making the world a more compassionate place, guided by, and forever thankful to, our Benedictine community.

As we give thanks to God for the blessings that we each have received, may we be forever mindful of those who are less fortunate, particularly in the holiday season ahead, and offer our charity to those in need. May we live our mission and its bedrock values of solidarity and sharing in our thoughts and our actions towards others.

Let us also pray for those who have provided so much for our Anselmian community. This will long be remembered as a transformative year for Saint Anselm College, as faculty, staff and benefactors invested generously in the future of our students and our campus. For their commitment and ours, to respect and understanding in our community and everywhere, we offer thanks today, and every day.

From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Dr. Steven and Eileen DiSalvo