Dr. Matthew Whelan became the ninth president of Caldwell University on July 1, 2020.
In his first video message to the Caldwell University community, President Whelan introduces himself and speaks about the importance of Caldwell’s excellence in education for these times and about the university’s plans for the fall semester.
Amid the realities of the pandemic and economic inequities, President Whelan says he is not dissuaded. “I fully believe in the importance of who we are and the critical and lasting impact of what we do. The times in which we live are exactly why the world needs us now. Students, it needs you right now. It needs your creativity, your understanding, your passion and your engagement. You are our future and I could not be prouder of you.”
To faculty and staff he said, “I am privileged to join the team and will work with you as we journey with our students as they pursue their education and degrees.”
He expressed the university’s enormous gratitude to alumni, donors, friends and community partners. “Thank you for your longtime and generous support and commitment to Caldwell. Your time, treasure and talent are critical to all we do to support the students and the communities in which we live, work, learn and serve. Caldwell needs you now more than ever.”
Stressing his commitment to the university’s mission, President Whelan said, “I am privileged to have been chosen to live out the Catholic Dominican legacy put in place by our founders, the Sisters of St. Dominic, and carried forward by my eight predecessors.”
Caldwell is dedicated to living out its core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence. “These values inform who we are and everything we do. In fact, the Catholic Dominican mission informs us that every person is made in the image and likeness of God and that everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. Now, more than ever, we need to live out this calling,” said Dr. Whelan.
“The times in which we live are exactly why the world needs us now. Students, it needs you right now. It needs your creativity, your understanding, your passion and your engagement.” President Matthew Whelan
In planning for the fall semester, President Whelan says the university is focused on serving students, faculty and staff in a safe environment. “Know that our faculty and staff have been stellar supporters in our efforts and we are committed to providing them with a safe environment in which to teach and support the transformative learning which occurs here every day.”
A campus-wide team has been and continues to meet regularly to develop the restart plan recently mandated by the state of New Jersey which addresses numerous areas including instruction, residence halls, dining and more. “And while we are ultimately subject to the decisions of New Jersey government officials and public health officials, our goal is to bring you back in the fall, subject to many of the sanitizing practices and social distancing regulations still in effect, while continuing to offer the option of distance learning for those persons or those classes which require that option,” said President Whelan. “We are hoping to see many of you here in the fall, and while the circumstances will no doubt be different, the focus on each of you as individuals will not.”
Quoting Nelson Mandela, Dr. Whelan said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
This what we will do, said President Whelan, “and we will do this together, as individuals and as a community. Thank you and I look forward to meeting you in person. And remember, ‘Go Cougars!’”