On Thursday, April 27th, at 11am, Saint Xavier University held a ceremony to honor President Emerita Christine Wiseman by naming the Student Lounge after her. Students, faculty, and staff were present at the touching dedication.
The ceremony began with welcoming remarks from Dr. Avis Clendenen, Dr. Anthony Campbell, and, SXU senior, Amy Salgado.
“What the students remember most [about] you is that you were there, you were always present . . . You dedicated your time here to the students and to their experience, so the trustees [are] making this lounge honor your name [so that] students will always remember you . . . we appreciate everything you have given us here at the university,” said Dr. Anthony Campbell, Vice President of Student Affairs, during his remarks.
SXU senior, Amy Salgado honored the Student Lounge to President Emerita Wiseman on behalf of SXU’s students. “This lounge represents a lot to us students, it represents a new beginning, a home away from home . . . it’s our honor to present this dedication to [President Emerita Wiseman] to show our appreciation for your legacy here; and we thank you for all that you did during your tenure here at SXU,” said Amy Salgado during her speech at the ceremony.
After the speakers, the SXU Chamber Singers sang Suscipe, written by Catherine McAuley, as suggested by current President, Laurie Joyner. “Suscipe” is a Latin word which means “receive”. “[Suscipe] is a matter of mind and heart, that’s why this room is dedicated to President Emerita Wiseman, because she had a sense of what was the most important [to] Saint Xavier University,” said Dr. Avis Clendenen.
This was followed by remarks from Mr. John Costello, former SXU Board Chair, “Your office was always open to the kids and parents . . . You were always making decisions in terms of what was best for the student experience here at the university, for that you will always have my respect.”
After Mr. Costello’s words, he unveiled the plaque and read a dedication made by the Board of Trustees back in December 2016. Then, the plaque was blessed with holy water.
Lastly, SXU senior, Adelinne Whittenhall, recited a poem entitled What I Have Learned So Far. This poem was chosen because President Emerita Wiseman usually recited it at commencement addresses in the past.
Moreover, during an interview with The Xavierite, Whittenhall expressed her joy for speaking at the ceremony, “I think it was really [nice] to be able to speak at this event. I think it’s great that they honored the past president, as well as assuring the new president.”
President Emerita Wiseman gave her remarks with joy and gratefulness. She thanked SXU for inviting her and for this honor. In an interview with The Xavierite, President Emerita Wiseman explained what this ceremony meant for her.
“It is the best thing this university could have done for me because I think it recognizes the work of the university, and my own role in advancing the experiences of students . . . This entire realm of higher education only exists for students. This means that I am still active in advocating for the needs of students, both on the Illinois Board of Higher Education and with the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. It’s my way of continuing to give back [for] what students have given me over the years,” said President Emerita Wiseman.
Additionally, she explained it was “wonderful and difficult” coming back to SXU. “It’s wonderful because it makes immediate all of those great experiences that I had here, and it’s difficult because I miss it, I miss the people . . . Many people say that presidents don’t really have an opportunity to develop relationships while they are presidents because there are so many pressing issues . . . but since I knew this would be my last position in higher education, I wanted to make sure that I had [taken] advantage of all of those opportunities to develop relationships, so that’s what I did. And I think that will sustain me,” said President Emerita Wiseman.
Her concluding words during the interview were the following, “I miss [the students], but I know they will go on to a great future because they have had the best of experiences here.”
After the ceremony, students and staff took pictures and spoke with President Emerita Wiseman. Coffee, water, and hot chocolate were offered. Additionally, attendees enjoyed a chocolate and vanilla cake.
The plaque, now located in the Student Lounge, reads: The Christine M. Wiseman, J.D. Student Lounge. In recognition of her dedication as President (2010-2016) to a holistic, student-centered, educational experience in a vibrant and inclusive understanding of the University’s mission, Catholic identity and Mercy heritage.
All students are encouraged to stop by the Student Lounge to see the new plaque.
Senior News Editor