Education in the Family Spirit

It was an alumnae celebration for a local girl’s high school.  The young woman, a well known performer at Waikiki clubs, remarked to the group of nuns, “You know when all the other girls were getting The Talk [about vocations], you never called me in.”  Everyone laughed of course, but it did occur to me that this right of passage, “The Talk” about vocations, must be a girl thing or a mainland thing or maybe an east coast thing, because though I have known several to-become Marianists and also some almost Marianists, none of whom have ever told me about “The Talk.”  Instead they were inspired by the Brothers—and the Priests—and went in to ask.

I think that is something that has always impressed me.  I worked at Chaminade for several years before I realized that much of what gave the University its special character was the presence of the Marianists.  They were always there—in greater numbers now at Chaminade than when I started—and they always made you feel welcomed.  And yet, much of the time, I didn’t think of them as religious; they never proselytized.  I looked on them as good men with whom it was fun to shoot the breeze. 

In fact, in my first week at Chaminade, I was working late and called campus security to report a strange man wandering through the faculty study.  It wasn’t until I went to the opening-of-school reception that I found out my “stranger” was a Marianist and one of the founding faculty of the University.  This Marianist, as I continued to work at Chaminade, became, like his confreres, a role model of equality and social justice.

This non-proselytizing equality, which characterizes the Brothers for me still, is both bad and good.  Sometimes it makes us forget how special the Marianists really are and how special is their contribution to life at Chaminade.  On the other hand, because they are examples of goodness and equality, they are the continuing center of the Chaminade community—and community and the family spirit is what the Chaminade essence is all about.

Michael Fassiotto
Director, Graduate Services

Adaptation and Change

My name is Barbara Belle and I work in Graduate Services.  My job is to recruit prospective students and then to help them complete the application process for Graduate school.

I have been surrounded and supported by Marianists, both brothers and sisters, all of my adult life. I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees while at University of Dayton and also worked there before coming to CUH three years ago.  It was probably at UD that I got my roots and seeds were planted to grow a Marianist spirituality.

The reason I became an MEA is to help ensure that Marianist values and traditions are carried out at Chaminade.  Some of the ways that I do this are through my staff position.  In our department, we try not to have personal interest but to work a team and keep in mind what would be best for the students.  And even when we advocate for our department, we also keep in mind what is good for the whole university; not just the self-interest of our department.

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An Integral, Quality Education

My name is Peggy Friedman.  I am Associate Professor, Marketing, in the Business School.  When I joined the faculty at Chaminade University, I had taught over 20 years, always in large, public universities.

As I reflect on my experience at a small, Catholic, Marianist school,  I am impressed that I feel I am as much (if not more) a learner here as a teacher.  I have become much more thoughtful in my teaching, experimenting with new ways to reach our diverse student body and with new ways to instill the Marianist values in my classes.  At meetings, in the classroom, in my office advising students, in activities with my colleagues, I find myself consciously (often, but not 100% yet!) trying to live the Marianist values—more patient with “foreign” points of view, more caring in my dealings with students’ issues, and much more attentive to how the content I teach can help students develop their own sense of Marianist values and how those values will influence their behavior as they work and live their lives after Chaminade. Prior to this my major concern was that my students learn the content of my discipline without much regard for how it would serve them after graduation beyond getting into the career of their choice.

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