New Students Welcomed to HNU

Holy Names University welcomed more than 120 new students for move-in and the beginning of orientation on Saturday, August 23. There were a number of events over the course of the weekend for incoming students and their families, including the Rite of Passage, dinner with President William J. Hynes, PhD, dessert with the Sisters, academic workshops, and small-group orientation sessions.

"We are the First" buttons

“We are the First” buttons

As part of a continuing effort to support students who are the first in their families to attend college, the University initiated “We are the First,” a program intended to welcome and connect first-generation students. During move-in, orientation staff hosted a table near the entrance to Dunn Hall where students could obtain information about “We are the First” and pick up a button designed for the program. HNU faculty and staff who were also first-generation college students were encouraged to wear “We are the First” buttons during the first week of classes to facilitate connections and conversations.

On Saturday afternoon, incoming students were gathered in Corrigan Courtyard in preparation for their first HNU tradition, the Rite of Passage. Michael S. Miller, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, made welcoming remarks and explained how the Rite of Passage marks the beginning of each new student’s HNU experience.

Admissions staff then led the students up the steps from the courtyard to the chapel while family and friends, who were lined up along the stairs, cheered them on. As they made their way up the hill, new students found their names written on the steps in colored chalk—the contribution of the senior class, which maintains the tradition each year of marking the students’ names on the steps the night before the Rite of Passage. President Hynes then greeted the new students at the top of the steps and directed them toward the Public Market for their first official dinner on campus.

New students ascending the steps to the chapel.

New students ascending the steps to the chapel.

After the new students and their families were seated in the Public Market, Sister Carol Sellman led everyone in a brief prayer. Lizbeth J. Martin, PhD, vice president for academic affairs, welcomed the students and families to campus and introduced President Hynes.

In his welcoming remarks, President Hynes spoke about the Rite of Passage and how the tradition ties into the values of the HNU community. “Your names are written on our steps in chalk and, as long as it doesn’t rain, your names will stay there for a few months. But we are hoping you make a more lasting mark here on campus and in the world after graduation. Above all, be inquisitive and altruistic. We want you to ask questions, help others, and always reach out to the broader community,” he said.

Orientation activities continued over the next week with a community barbecue event on August 26, a showing of the movie Finding Nemo in Corrigan Courtyard on August 27, a student dance on August 29, and an outing to see the Oakland Athletics play the Seattle Mariners on September 2.

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Sister Sophia Park Interviewed about Pope Francis’ Visit to South Korea

Sophia Park, SNJM, PhD, assistant professor of religious studies and philosophy at HNU, was interviewed for the Global Sisters Report, part of the National Catholic Reporter. In the interview, Sr. Sophia, who is a native of South Korea, was asked to give her thoughts on Pope Francis’ then-upcoming visit to South Korea and what he was likely to find during his visit, particularly with respect to South Korean Catholics’ spirituality and sense of church. To listen to the interview with Sr. Sophia, please click here.

Sr. Sophia has also been writing occasional articles for the Global Sisters Report. Her most recent article, “Global Sorority: a Contemplative Encounter,” is about engaging with members of a spiritual community and building togetherness by slowing down and listening carefully. Her previous article for the Global Sisters Report, “A Reflection on Religious Vocation: the Wine is Ready, but the Wineskin is Not,” was published in May. She will continue to share her reflections on God, people, and the religious life from a global feminist perspective in upcoming articles.

Sr. Sophia is the author of A Hermeneutic on Dislocation as Experience: Creating a Borderland, Constructing a Hybrid Identity (Peter Lang, 2011). She holds a doctoral degree in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union.

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HNU Unveils Revamped President’s Circle

President's-Circle-1-red Holy Names University is pleased to announce the formation of the new President’s Circle, an honor society for the University’s donors. The President’s Circle is an invaluable group of supporters whose leadership giving and enthusiastic commitment to Holy Names University serve as an inspiration to the entire HNU community.

Supporters of HNU can join the newly revamped President’s Circle by making a gift of $1,000 or more to any HNU fund during the fiscal year, from July 1–June 30. Gifts can be made on a monthly or quarterly schedule, and matching gifts are counted toward a donor’s total giving amount.

President’s Circle members receive the following benefits:

• A private evening at the HNU president’s home.
• A luncheon hosted by our beloved Sisters
• A listing on a special honor roll of donors (unless the gift is anonymous)

HNU graduates of the Class of 2005 or later may join the President’s Circle with a gift of $450, or a monthly gift of $37.50.

Become a member of the President’s Circle by making a gift to HNU today.

If you have questions or would like more information about the President’s Circle, please contact Maureen Nikaido, director of the HNU Fund, at or at 510.436.1014.

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Passionate Leaders in Social Entrepreneurship

Holy Names University is pleased to announce the line-up for the fall James Durbin Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Passionate Leaders in Social Entrepreneurship.

Thursday, September 11, 2014, in the VCPA Studio Theatre at 4:30 p.m., Kat Taylor, CEO Beneficial State Bank. This bank has a triple bottom line for making loans. Each loan must enhance social justice, build sustainability, and make a profit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, in the VCPA Studio Theatre at 4:30 p.m., John Baumann, S.J., Founder and CEO of PICO. PICO helps people organize worldwide so that they can achieve social justice for themselves and others. Today more than 1 million families and 1,000 congregations from 40 different denominations and faiths participate in PICO.

Thursday, November 6, 2014, in the VCPA Studio Theatre at 4:30 p.m., Patrick Turner and Bianca Frediani, Founders of Bed Bandits. Graduates of HNU and Santa Clara University, respectively, this married couple manufactures bed toppers; for every three that are purchased, one is donated to a local homeless shelter.

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Video Featuring Belo Cipriani Wins Awards

Harnessing the Power of Partnership, a video that features HNU Writer-In-Residence Belo Cipriani for Guide Dogs for the Blind, has received a Gold Cinema in Industry (CINDY) award in the Public Service & Information competition and a special achievement award for editing and music composition.

The International Association of Audio Visual Communicators (IAA-VC) awards CINDYs to individuals and groups who have produced programming that achieves the highest levels of excellence in production value and message effectiveness. For this year’s CINDY awards, the IAA-VC judged more than 8,200 entries from around the world, including videos, commercials, documentaries, websites, mobile apps, podcasts, webinars, and more.

See Harnessing the Power of Partnership here:

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