President Julie Sullivan shared the following in email to University of St. Thomas faculty and staff on Tuesday, May 31, 2022:
As I leave the University of St Thomas, I am filled with immense gratitude for my time with you. I love this university, and I love each and every one of you. It is the people that make our community so special.
A lot was accomplished during our time together, and of course I’m proud of all of those accomplishments. But what I am most proud of is why we pursued those things, how we pursued them, and the way we pursued them.
The why was always driven by our students – by our desire to enhance their whole person education, to contribute to their intellectual, emotional, spiritual and faith formations, to cultivate and strengthen their commitment to the common good, and to help them discern and realize their career aspirations and personal dreams and fulfillment. All of our accomplishments were driven by our student-centered mission.
The how we pursued our priorities was collaboratively. Anything we did successfully, we did together.
The way was with a collective higher purpose of advancing the common good. We collectively embraced a common mission bigger than any one of us individually, and we sought to selflessly contribute to that broader mission.
The way also was centered on human connection, dignity, and respect. This community has cared for one another and cared for me in so many ways. In some of the recent writings of Pope Francis, he talks about genuinely and authentically accompanying one another, meeting each person where they are, and walking beside them in their journeys. This genuine accompaniment is what we have sought to provide one another. And as we became a more diverse community, we sought to create and nurture an inclusive culture that promoted and respected the dignity of all. And when our actions fell short, we committed to remain on this journey and do better.
The last nine years have been among the greatest blessings of my life. I am grateful that God led me here and accompanied me on this journey. I will always be so blessed by my time here and by how you helped me become a better person. Please never forget how special you are.
With love and gratitude,
President Julie Sullivan addresses faculty and staff at a May 19, 2022, farewell reception: