Late-afternoon rain showers are common here in Southern New England, especially during the spring. One of 2012’s heaviest downpours visited us on June 7, the day of the long-awaited Ruane Center for the Humanities groundbreaking ceremony. In typical Providence College fashion, we regrouped quickly and moved everything – podium, chairs, decorations, and all – into Phillips Memorial Library.
While we were initially disappointed to have our plans disrupted, the library – the heart of College academic life – was an appropriate alternative because it underscored the essential, evolving nature of the PC teaching and learning experience. The spirit of the event was undampened by the rain, and I daresay that everyone involved left that afternoon feeling proud and optimistic. Incidentally, the sun came back out, shining brightly on our community as we celebrated what was truly a momentous occasion in the College’s history.
In a sense, that anecdote represents what we are all about at Providence College as we approach the end of 2012. Of course, we are proud of this wonderful institution and all we have accomplished over 95 years. At the same time, with our year-old Strategic Plan as our guide, we are changing and growing with a resolute focus on getting better, and doing better.
Mike Ruane himself, the 1971 PC graduate for whom the new building is named (along with his wife, Elizabeth, and their children), addressed exactly that point in his remarks that day when he challenged all of us to pledge daily self-improvement. As a college, we are committed to accountability, ongoing measurement of our progress, and that culture of continuous improvement Mike referenced.
Change can be challenging. But, as we saw on June 7 and so many other days in the past year, it can be most rewarding. The Strategic Plan outlines our aspirational vision, and it shows the way to the day when Providence College is all we want it to be. Our plan brings the clarity that helps foster change, and it serves as a rallying point for all of us who embrace our roles in helping PC achieve its destiny.
Moreover, I know in my heart that the momentum attached to the Strategic Plan will continue to build as we have more successes large and small, ranging in 2011-2012 from the Ruane Center groundbreaking, to the national championship won by a team of accounting students, to Viola Davis’ breathtaking Commencement Address, along with numerous other developments you have read about in Providence College Magazine.
This Donor Report reflects the astonishing generosity of so many of our alumni and friends. I offer my heartfelt thanks to each person who honors us by his or her decision to share precious resources with Providence College. By God’s grace and with the continuing support of our friends, the future of this wonderful institution is as bright as the sunshine that dissipated those clouds on that glorious June afternoon.
Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80