Dear Members of the Catholic University Community,
I can’t leave without saying goodbye one last time to all of you. All of you have been a large part of our lives for the past twelve years.
We have attended numerous farewell events the past couple of months, and received many visitors, and we would like to thank all those who came to wish us well. We will never forget how much love and appreciation you have expressed in those goodbyes. We will miss you all very much.
The past twelve years have changed both Jeanne and me. We leave this campus older and (in my case) greyer, but transformed, grateful, and honored to have been a part of the University.
I am going to end on the same note I began with. In my inaugural address I spoke about the connection between virtue and the intellect. I suggested then that if we want to promote a serious Catholic intellectual culture on campus we should consider “the interplay of intellect and virtue across the full field of university life.”
Over the years I have continued this theme in various ways. I taught a class each spring on The Virtues to freshmen in the Honors Program; I made it a practice to offer reflections on different virtues at baccalaureate masses and commencements. But the most wonderful thing about our time here is that Jeanne and I have had the opportunity to see these virtues enacted by all of you in the life of our community. Your example has been an inspiration to us.
I have no doubt that a lasting and strong Catholic intellectual movement is taking root here at Catholic University. I am glad to have played a part in it.