Daniel J. Elsener | May 12, 2016
More so now than ever before, Marian University is an institution distinguished in itsability to educate transformative leaders for service to the world. Building on our rich tradition, we have achieved unprecedented growth in the last decade, and, through our Strategic Plan 2025, our advancement will continue in profound ways. Developed in consultation with alumni, board members, faculty, and current students, this aspirational strategic plan charts a bold and courageous path into the future and establishes our Wildly Important Goal (WIG) to double by 2025 the number of women and men who graduate from Marian University well-prepared to serve as leaders in their respective fields.
As a part of the strategic plan, we aim to deepen and broaden Marian University’s education of Church leaders, the vibrant experience of faith on campus, and our service to the Church in Indiana and beyond. Through the generosity of our alumni, friends, and supporters, we will endow scholarships for those students in greatest need and build and grow a Sisters Legacy Fund to support the Oldenburg Franciscans’ unflagging commitment to serve the economically disadvantaged. We will work to double the number of San Damiano Scholars to 240 by 2020 and grow the San Damiano Scholar endowed fund to support these young lay women and men who employ their gifts and talents in service to the Body of Christ in education, ministry, and beyond. Finally, we will create a Hispanic leadership initiative to support Latino/a students on campus, provide financial aid for their education, and create more dynamic connections with the Hispanic community in Indianapolis.
Our first action, however, will be to restore the St. Francis Colonnade and gardens which have deteriorated with age. The statue of St. Francis, donated to Marian University in the first years of the college as a memorial to Georgiana Feldman, a student who unexpectedly passed away in Clare Hall in 1940, and the pillars which surround it, capture perfectly our past and our future, especially in regards to the first pillar of our strategic plan: Mission and Identity. The colonnade connects us to the earliest days of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana in Indianapolis, reminding us of the Franciscan values that lie at our very core. When it is restored to its former beauty, it will be a serene corner of our campus that offers prayerful respite, reflection, and an ideal place to memorialize beloved members of the Marian University community.
The aspirational vision of the Marian University Strategic Plan 2025 will be one brought to fruition through the dedication, commitment, and most critically, prayerful support of the entire Marian University community. As the beautiful religious artwork across our campus reminds us daily, the mission of our university is imbued with our Franciscan charism; through the education we offer, we form leaders who carry these Franciscan sponsorship values of dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship into their businesses, classrooms, churches, and hospitals. May Mary, the Seat of Wisdom, pray for us, and may Ss. Francis and Clare be our models as we follow Christ on this bold venture.