By Dr Paul Morrissey, President of Campion College
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Campion College, Australia’s first and only Catholic Liberal Arts College offering higher education degrees. Upon reflection, there is much to give thanks for. First, and most important, is the achievement of our students. In 10 years Campion College has welcomed students from all around Australia and from different parts of the world. Our graduates have gone on to commence very successful postgraduate studies and careers in a range of areas: Law, Politics, Journalism, Public Service, Medicine, Teaching, Administration, and Business. There have also been a number of vocations to religious life, priesthood and many marriages.
Each of these students speaks of how the Liberal Arts education they received at Campion has given them a great advantage in the various fields that they have pursued. They speak of the knowledge they have attained of the key ideas, events, and artistic expression of Western civilisation. They also speak of the skills they have learned: thinking logically and integrally; clarity in communicating; and the skill to listen to complex arguments and give reasoned responses. Our students are encouraged to see their education as a pathway to work for the common good of society and the Church.
Connected to the achievements of our students has been the establishing of a first-rate academic faculty and program. We are very proud of our academics, most of whom have been at Campion since the beginning and all of whom love teaching our dedicated and focused student body.
Institutionally, we have achieved much: a forthright commitment to implementing St John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Higher Education, in the Australian context; the purchasing of the campus land and its buildings just north of Parramatta (in Old Toongabbie); the accreditation and reaccreditation of our degrees (including our new Diploma in Classical Languages); the recent approval of our Master Plan Development, which will commence with the building of two residential halls to accommodate students for the start of 2018.
In 10 years we have had the public support of significant figures: current Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, former PM, the Hon John Howard, and former Chief Justice of the High Court, the Hon Murray Gleeson, among others; and the support of the church with former and current archbishops and bishops throughout Australia who have supported the college, many of whom have celebrated our graduation Masses.
These achievements (and there are many others) would not have been possible without the financial and spiritual support of many, many people. Starting a Liberal Arts College in the hyper-competitive higher education environment of 21st Century Australia is, to put it mildly, rather challenging and truthfully an act of faith. But 10 years of achievement is a wonderful testament to the financial and spiritual sacrifices of so many. To give thanks for these achievements and to pray for the college, Mass will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta at 11am on Sunday 11 September. Mass will be followed by light refreshments in the Cathedral Hall. All are very welcome.
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