Dec. 20, 2018

Advent is upon us, and Christmas a few short days away. As we conclude this semester and finish 2018 — a year of great accomplishment for the Merrimack College community — I wish you all the joy of this season as we prepare to celebrate with loved ones the birth of Jesus Christ.

St. Augustine, our patron, urged us to be festive at Christmas. In one of his surviving holiday sermons, he tells his congregation, “With yearly ceremony, therefore, we celebrate this day, which saw the fulfillment of the prophecy: ‘Truth is sprung out of the earth, and justice hath looked down from heaven.’”

 I hope you will take time to reflect on the tremendous achievements we have made as a community during 2018, including:

  • Being named a top-50 and “Most Innovative” institution by U.S. News, and one of the 10 “Most Transformative” schools in the country by Money.
  • Enrolling more than 1,110 first-year students, our largest class ever.
  • Winning the Division II National Championship in men’s lacrosse.
  • Opening the Dr. Alfred L. Arcidi Center.
  • The first outdoor commencement in our new Duane Stadium
  • Accepting the invitation to join the Northeast Conference of NCAA Division I.
  • Being designated an Apple Distinguished School.
  • Exceeding the goal of our Together for Good capital campaign — with a year left to go.

We all should be so proud of the work our faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends have done to create a culture of success for all of our students, who trust us to shape their minds and hearts and help them build the foundations of lives of humanity and accomplishment.

Please remember in your prayers those in our family for whom 2018 brought challenges — especially in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, still recovering from the explosions and fires of September — in the hope that we will all share a brighter, more joyful 2019.

I wish you peace, joy and a restful time with loved ones this holiday season, and hope to see each of you at the many events we hold on campus to mark the birth of our Savior and celebrate the strength of our community. A very merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year.

God bless.