Campus Watch

Statue Stays

HIGHEREDUCATION.COM, Aug. 2 — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has ruled that it was not important whether a controversial statue on the campus of Washburn University was a state-sponsored anti-Catholic message but that the university “had not endorsed that message.”

The Higher Education website described the bust, “Holier Than Thou,” as representing an “ironic recollection” of the artist's first confession, which the artist has described as an encounter with a priest “who had the power to condemn me for my evil ways.”

The statue shows a menacing bishop in an oddly shaped miter; some have said the miter is intended as a phallic symbol.

A former professor and a former student filed the suit, accusing Washburn, a state university in Topeka, Kan., of violating the Constitution's establishment clause because the university seemed to be promoting a religious posture that was anti-Catholic.

New and Traditional

CATHNEWS.COM, July 27 — Campion College, Australia's newest Catholic institution of higher education, will hold its first open house for prospective students Aug. 28. The school will open in 2006.

Campion will offer “a return to traditional education … in a modern and nurturing environment,” reported the Australian Catholic website of the college's liberal-arts curriculum.

The college is located at the former seminary of the Marist Fathers in Old Toongabbie, some 25 minutes from downtown Sydney in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Parramatta's Bishop Kevin Manning has endorsed the college, as has Sydney Cardinal George Pell.

Soul of the Apostolate

FRANCISCAN UNIVERISTY, July 31 — Enduring a 13-hour flight to attend the university's annual catechetical conference in Steubenville, Ohio, was worth it for Lisa Sagers, youth minister of St. Nicholas Church in North Pole, Alaska.

More important than the educational strategies and curriculum ideas, said Sagers, was the “call to holiness, trusting in God and the importance of being a contemplative in the world.”

Nearly 300 catechists, youth ministers and religion teachers gathered for July's 10th annual St. John Bosco Conference.

Chief of Hearts

MOBILE REGISTER, June 26 — Jesuit Father Roy William Vollenweider, known to generations of Spring Hill College students as “Chief,” has died at age 90.

Father Vollenweider taught history at the college but became deaf by middle age. “He couldn't hear, but you always had the impression he knew everything that was going on,” said one former student.

“He had a good word for you, he always had a smile on his face,” said Henry Boudreaux, a 1973 alumnus. “You couldn't be in a bad mood around him.”

Growing Enrollment

THE CINCINNATI POST, July 26 — Thomas More College is off to a good start in its goal to increase enrollment, reported the Cincinnati daily of the college in nearby Crestview Hills, Ky.

Freshman enrollment this fall is expected to be about 240, compared with 177 a year ago.

“We're aggressively pursuing parochial high schools … and we're also doing more innovative things like having potential students stay on campus overnight to experience the environment and meet students and faculty,” said Benedictine Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, president of the liberal-arts college.