Leahy Highlights Student

Leahy Highlights Student Success

President Patrick F. Leahy Ed.D., delivered a Spring Convocation in which he addressed the academic and athletic student success of the previous fall semester, in Pollak Theatre Auditorium on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

A brief speech preceding Leahy’s address was made by Rekha Datta, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science.

Noting the recent celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Datta began her remarks with a reflection on one of the civil rights activist’s many iconic speeches. “We may have all come in different ships, but we are all in the same boat now,” Datta quoted. 

Leahy addressed the crowd with a thanks for assembling and the acknowledgment that “… there seems to be no perfect time for us to host the Fall Convocation and the Spring Convocation, so I’m very grateful for your willingness to join us at this time and to stay with us for a little while to hear about what’s on my mind as we go into the Spring semester.”

Leahy stressed the importance of holding the convocation regardless of the convenience, as the event is a way to enhance communication on the campus. 

After introductions, Leahy transitioned into acknowledging the plethora of student achievements accomplished in the previous Fall semester. “Every university can, and probably should measure its success by the success of its students, and we had so many examples this fall,” Leahy said.

Recalling the success of the Monmouth Debate Hawks, Leahy mentioned the team’s three separate competitions across multiple different locations, and their first place victories in two of the three meetings.

“The Debate Hawks went out to a competition at the University of Rochester and competed with [that school], West Point, NYU and others,” Leahy said. “Not only did our team finish first, but they finished first and second at that competition. I’m so grateful for the work of our colleague, [Chair of the Department of Political Science and coach of the University Debate team] Joe Patten.”

Leahy highlighted the Model UN team’s “best delegation” distinction during a competition in Washington D.C. this past Fall, as well as mused over the group’s trip to the United Kingdom.

“[The Model UN team] competed against some universities that maybe you’ve heard of, such as Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics,” Leahy recalled. “They beat those schools in the competition. I’m so proud of our students engaged in this, and I want to thank [Model UN Team advisors] Ken Mitchell and Kevin Dooley.”

The Kislak Real Estate Institute from the Leon Hess School of Business hosted a competition on campus this previous Fall, Leahy mentioned.

“[They] invited some schools such as Villanova, Lehigh University, Rutgers University and others,” Leahy said. “Our students won that competition as well. I understand [specialist professor] Irene Z. McFarland was most responsible for preparing those students for that competition.”

Leahy went on to mention the field hockey program’s “incredible Fall,” as they joined the American East Conference and competed against the likes of the University of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and others.

“Our field hockey team ran the table in the American East Conference,” Leahy said. “They ended the year with a national ranking.”

“First of all, we knew they were going to have a good year,” Leahy said when speaking of the women’s soccer team. “They traveled out to Austin, Texas to play early in the year and beat the University of Texas, one of the great athletic programs in the country. The women’s soccer team once again ran the table in the MAC Conference hosted here on campus. The two best teams in the conference ended up in the finals, Fairfield [University] and Monmouth. We won 6 to nothing, suggesting what a gap there is between our university team and all the others.”

Leahy also noted the women’s soccer team accomplished the highest group GPA of any team at Monmouth University. “3.63 [GPA] for their efforts both on the field and in the classroom,” Leahy said.

He went on to mention the football team’s Big South Championship victory.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University