Campus Watch

Smoke of Sullivan

FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, Oct. 5 — A letter from the Jesuit university's theology department promoting an upcoming appearance by commentator Andrew Sullivan — a homosexual who favors same-sex marriage — was described as “a practicing Catholic” who “has challenged the Church's position on gay life.”

The department said Sullivan's talk, funded by Ford-ham's Center for American Catholic Studies, would be especially suitable for freshmen students of its course in faith and critical reasoning because Sullivan “can model for our students how a vigorous intellect can illuminate faith (and vice versa!).”

Sister President

OLEAN TIMES HERALD, Oct. 2 — Franciscan Sister Margaret Carney, a theologian and expert in Franciscan spirituality, has become the first female president of St. Bonaventure University, which is administered by the Franciscan friars.

Sister Carney said the university had “sur vived a deep wound,” caused by the athletic scandal involving eligibility requirements that ultimately caused her predecessor, Franciscan Father Robert Wickenheiser, to resign.

Sister Carney was general superior of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Pittsburgh before she joined St. Bonaventure as dean of Franciscan studies.

True Diversity

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS, Oct. 5 — Michigan Federal District Judge Gerald Rosen has ordered Ann Arbor Public Schools to pay $102,738 in attorney fees and costs to the Thomas More Law Center because school officials prevented student Betsy Hansen from expressing her Catholic beliefs at a “Homosexuality and Religion” panel as part of her high school's annual “Diversity Week.”

Last December, Judge Rosen ruled that the school had violated Hansen's constitutional right to freedom of speech and right to equal protection, as well as the Establishment Clause.

The judge's 70-page opinion in favor of the student was highly critical of the action taken by the school to censor Hansen's speech.

Jesuit Joy in Alabama

THE MOBILE REGISTER, Oct. 5 — Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach became the first Jesuit superior general to visit his order's Spring Hill College as he helped mark the 175th anniversary of the college's founding this fall, celebrating a Mass that attracted more than half of the resident student body.

Father Kolvenbach was presented with Spring Hill's first Fons Sapientiae Award, which honors those who have been an example of wisdom and faith.

The Jesuit leader urged Spring Hill to build on the fact that it was the first college in Alabama to admit black students, and to do so by deepening its commitment to solidarity, the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.

Whither Women-Only U?

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 5 — Is a faith component necessary for an all-women's college to survive?

Could be. As recently as 1980, there were more than 120 all-women's colleges in the country. “There are now fewer than 60 all-women's colleges … and half of them are Catholic,” said Wells College sociology professor Leslie Miller-Bernal.

Miller-Bernal, the author of several books on single-sex colleges, was quoted by the wire service reacting to the decision by Wells, a secular institution, to go co-ed in the face of declining enrollment.