A Greeting from the President
As the president of Niagara University, I am frequently asked by visitors and other acquaintances to define the mission or purpose/uniqueness of the university. In responding, I don’t talk about location, enrollment, the colleges or popular majors—the kind of things you might expect. Rather, I use three words from our mission statement: Catholic, Vincentian and university.
I choose these words because they speak to the heart, soul and purpose of Niagara University. They are words that influence everything that is done here to fulfill our educational mission.
Niagara is a Catholic university. It provides a gospel-based education that emphasizes Jesus’ command that we love one another. We are a caring community that recognizes the God-given dignity and worth of every individual. We provide a holistic education to help our students develop themselves in mind, body and spirit.
As a Vincentian university, we seek to inspire our students to serve others, especially those who are among the neediest and most marginalized. We teach that giving back to society is a spiritual value that flows from the long and respected tradition of Catholic social teaching. Our nationally recognized, award-winning service-learning programs provide evidence of our commitment to helping others in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, the universal patron of charity.
As a university, we continually strive for excellence—excellence in teaching and learning, excellence in research and publishing, and excellence in the many ways in which we serve and care for our students. We are a leader in active, integrative learning, combining the theory of the classroom with the reality of the workplace.
Over the last 150 years, Niagara has maintained its quest for excellence through a continuing process of renewal. There is no more vivid evidence of this than the present. Since the year 2000, more than $70 million has been invested in new facilities and programs, computer technology, and annual maintenance and improvement projects. St. Vincent’s Hall, a century-old structure that serves as a major classroom building, has been completely rebuilt. It houses our nationally ranked and accredited College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Those new facilities have been supplemented by a brand new academic center, which houses our highly accredited colleges of Business Administration and Education. An ongoing capital campaign, “The Promise of Niagara,” will provide the resources for even more improvements in facilities, programs and scholarship assistance, including a major expansion of our on-campus theater and construction of a new science building.
Recent achievements and our vision for the future convince me that Niagara is at a unique moment in its history, a time of genuine transition. In the years ahead, I see a Niagara with a stronger international and regional presence; a center of even more activity because of the strong relationship between the university and the local community, which we wish to serve in a significant way. But I do not see the university as an ivory tower. We will be open and welcoming, a beacon of light and charity as we make our physical and intellectual resources available to those in need of them. All that we do will be in the pursuit of excellence. As a university, we are committed to our students, our local communities and our region as we await the future with great hope and confidence.
Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M.