By Sarah Sterzinger
An important part of what makes Canisius different from any of the other colleges in Buffalo is its Jesuit affiliation. The Jesuits have basic guidelines as to how they view the world through God’s light. The Director of Mission and Identity is responsible for this job of keeping the Jesuit values both within the Canisius curriculum and throughout the Canisius campus.
Last year, Fr. Michael F. Tunney left Canisius to the surprise and disappointment of many students and faculty. His departure left the Director of Mission and Identity chair open and waiting to be filled. Canisius has been searching, since sometime before October 17, for someone to fill Tunney’s shoes and continue the Canisius Jesuit Identity. Three candidates visited and talked to the Canisius community on how they hope to continue this important role.
The first Candidate is Ellen M. Macarons from Gonzaga University. She is an associate professor at the Washington State school. She is willing to move to Buffalo and only wants to leave “one Jesuit school for another” due to her love for Jesuit higher education. Macarons is in charge of Gonzaga’s Religious Influence club on campus and is in charge of scheduling their retreats.
Macarons claims that, if she is given the chair, she “would bring collection of intellectual, academic, and spiritual commitments to Jesuit higher education and much relevant experience and work on these issues.”
The next candidate is Father Gregoire J. Fluet. He is a Secretary of the Board of Governors at Holy Apostles College, as well as an adjunct professor in history and other various courses. Father Fluet is extensively well educated, including a Doctorate in history. The Old Lyme, Connecticut resident is widely published and is a member of many organizations, such as International Honor Society of History and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He speaks Latin, Spanish, and English. Fr. Fluet has even been invited to a luncheon with Former President George W. Bush. Father Fluet wants us to know, “[his] only reason for seeking this employment […] is to become part of a larger college that is clearly directed by the law of Love.”
The final candidate is Marc Rugani from Georgetown University. At Georgetown, Rugani is the Chaplain-in-Residence. On the side, Rugani also teaches First Year Experience classes at Catholic University of America. Like Fr. Fluet, Rugani is also widely published. He is a member of the American Academy of Religions and Society of Christian Ethics. Before Rugani traveled all over the U.S., he grew up in Buffalo and graduated from Canisius High School. He has a passion for volunteer work.
“It would be a privilege and a dream to serve my native city and an institution grounded in the spirituality and way of proceeding I hold dear,” said Rugani.
It is unclear which of these candidates will fill Tunney’s shoes, as Canisius has yet to offer up any word on their decision. If students care about Jesuit values, and Canisius upholding those values, then they should also care about the Director of Mission and Identity.