The official magazine of Fontbonne University.
A Message from the President
This issue’s cover story (page 30) about our annual Catch the Fire ceremony and other mission-driven traditions provides an apt backdrop for a number of things I want to convey in this message. As we welcome new students, we hope to kindle in them the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and thus begin their transformation into “global citizens who think critically, act ethically and serve responsibly.” You, as alumni and friends of Fontbonne, know of which I speak. You are living examples of that fire alive in our communities! During our annual commencement ceremony, we witness hundreds of others going forth to follow in your footsteps. For me and many others, it is emotional and awe-inspiring.
For nearly 100 years, Fontbonne University has sent men and women into the world to serve in many ways. I am blessed that I get to meet many of them through my work with the CSJs, our alumni, friends and volunteers. Given that thousands of them continue to reside in the St. Louis region, it amazes me that more people don’t know of the great work we do. Have we been too humble for our own good? Surely we know that humility is a hallmark of the servant and is to be commended, but we must do a better job of telling our story so that more students enroll, more people attend events on campus and more donors invest in our future.
Beginning this spring 2018 semester, we have made some significant changes to help us do a better job of telling the Fontbonne story. You will have noticed that the very title of this magazine has changed from Tableaux to Fontbonne Magazine. This is intentional. We want our name to shout from the cover as it sits on your coffee table in home or office. Leave it face up! We have hired a new executive director of communications and marketing: Michele Hoeft comes to us from Christian Hospital and brings experience from health care, higher education and industry. A partnership with Dovetail, a brand communication agency, and Common Ground, a public relations agency, will help us with a rebranding exercise this year. They will help us better convey our message to the community and the student marketplace.
The fall of 2017 saw a flurry of good publicity for the university. We received good coverage for the launch of our Fontbonne Promise program, our initiatives in anti-sex trafficking and the impending acquisition of the now-closed John F. Kennedy High School campus, which will be the new location of Fontbonne University West. We are beginning to get needed and deserved recognition, and we will promote more in this and the coming years.
You who have the fire need to be a part of this effort. Set a goal. How many times a day will you bring Fontbonne up in a conversation? Will you share the magazine with a friend? Will you refer a student? We need you to be the brand ambassadors for Fontbonne, and we will provide the inspiring material that makes it a story worth telling. Read on in this issue for more inspiration!
Dr. J. Michael Pressimone
New students take a powerful journey to get a true understanding of the history, mission and spirituality of the CSJs.
A group from Fontbonne discovers community far from home.
Each year, scholarships — and the people who fund them — make students’ dreams a reality.
Karina Arango had to embrace her own story before she could help students like her do the same.
Meet Lisa Vansickle, who comes to higher education from a career in corporate banking.
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