News & Features

Academic Convocation Kicks Off New School Year

Academic Convocation will be held both Tues., Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. and Wed., Aug. 27 at 10:15 a.m. in the Dunham Student Activity Center.


Evening Academic Convocation Program, Aug. 26

Everyone is invited for refreshments immediately following Evening Convocation. Classes resume at 8 p.m.

Morning Academic Convocation Program, Aug. 27

The Mass of the Holy Spirit will begin at 11:30 a.m. in Ryan Hall's Doerr Chapel. Everyone is invited to the Eleanor
Halloran Ferry Plaza at 12:30 p.m. for the welcome back barbeque sponsored by the Alumni Association.

What is Academic Convocation?

Fontbonne University was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, a community of religious women that has ministered to the needs of individuals and the world for more than 350 years. Today, we gather to recognize, celebrate and strengthen our identity as a Catholic institution of higher education that seeks to focus the charism of the Sisters into one particular mission: educating leaders to serve a world in need. At Academic Convocation, we put our academic vision into action. At our welcome back barbecue, we celebrate the community of individuals that makes this mission possible. At our Mass of the Holy Spirit, we call upon the same Spirit that filled the first Sisters of St. Joseph as they reached out to those in need in Le Puy, France, more than 350 years ago.

About This Year's Convocation Speaker:

Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She left Cuba and became a political refugee in 1960, coming to the United States where she earned a B.A. in European History from The College of New Rochelle in New York. In January 1967 she traveled to Lima, Peru, as a missionary, where she lived for three years. After returning to the United States, Dr. Isasi-Diaz taught high school for a period of time and lived in Spain for 16 months. She pursued a Master of Divinity Degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she also completed a Ph.D. with a concentration in Christian Ethics in 1990. The next year, she began teaching at the Theological and Graduate Schools of Drew University. She has enjoyed opportunities to speak with people all around the USA, as well as in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

About the Jason Sommer Dedicated Semester Award:

To commemorate the outstanding work done by Dr. Jason Sommer for the university's first dedicated semester on Judaism and Its Cultures in fall 2007, the Jason Sommer Dedicated Semester Award was commissioned to honor someone who has been integrally involved in the success of the previous dedicated semester.

About the First Jason Sommer Dedicated Semester Award Recipient:

Batya Abramson-Goldstein is the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, where she has worked in different capacities since 1988. She also served as coordinator of the refugee resettlement effort of the Jewish Social Service Agency in Washington, D.C. from 1987-1988.With her family, she lived in Israel from 1973-87. She received a master's degree in social work from Tel Aviv University and was director of social services at the Rehabilitation Center of Petach Tikva from 1982-1987. She also has a master's degree in history from the University of Rochester. Abramson-Goldstein is co-chair of the Interfaith Breakfast Dialogue Group and the St. Louis Jewish/ Presbyterian
dialogue group and co-chair of the Eden Theological Seminary/Jewish community dialogue group. She is a member of the Cabinet of the
Interfaith-Partnership of St. Louis and the 1993 recipient of the Jewish Federation's Fred A. Goldstein Memorial Service Award.

For more information, contact the academic affairs office at 314-889-1404 or