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Core Values Drive Our Mission

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February 8-12, 2016
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The St. Ambrose University Mission and Vision are built upon an essential foundation of five core values that inform virtually every aspect of the work we do. These also are the foundational values students and alumni carry with them as they go about fulfilling our mission goal of enriching lives.

Recently, Scene magazine examined each of these core values — lifelong learning, Catholicity, integrity, diversity and the liberal arts — while revealing the many ways our commitment to each has influenced our curriculum, our work, our play and the impact Ambrosians have made on the causes, communities and people in their lives.

Each Scene included an essay that explained the importance of these values. We honor Mission Week by sharing those here:

Lifelong Learning 

magazine coverOur Value: We believe that people at all stages of life need educational opportunities. Therefore, we offer learning programs with student-centered teaching that lead to baccalaureate and professional graduate degrees in curricula through the doctoral level as well as non-degree offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To meet the needs of our diverse student body, we use a variety of delivery systems and formats in the Diocese of Davenport, the State of Iowa, and other authorized locations. We collaborate with other organizations to offer further opportunities around the world.

Our Thoughts: Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, our university's president, received an important lesson in life-long learning at the age of 10, when she came home frustrated from a fourth-grade classroom experience.

Joseph Lescinski, the father Sister Joan reverently described as a "gentle, reflective, poet of a man," recognized his young daughter's agitated state. When he asked what was troubling her, she twice explained the cause of her frustration. Neither time, however, did she answer the important question that followed.

"And what did you learn from that?" her father asked her once, twice and then again. ...

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magazine coverOur Value:
 We treasure and build on our strong Catholic identity in relationship with the Diocese of Davenport. As an independent institution of higher learning, St. Ambrose University embodies our faith tradition through teaching, learning, scholarship, and service, through openness to those of other faith traditions, and through the pursuit of justice and peace.

Our Thoughts: As a proper noun, Catholicity is defined as "the beliefs of the Catholic Church." Definitions for the word as a common noun, meanwhile, include "broad-mindedness," "universality" and "general inclusiveness."

At St. Ambrose University, our core mission value of Catholicity is a living word that defines itself as all of the above, and reveals itself as so very much more. ... 

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magazine coverOur value: 
We believe in the inherent God-given dignity and worth of every person. Therefore, we strive to develop an understanding of human cultures, achievements, capabilities, and limitations to promote justice and peace and use our talents in service to others and the world. We welcome people from other countries and cultures to study, learn, and work at St. Ambrose. Likewise, we encourage Ambrosians to teach, learn, engage in scholarship, and serve abroad.

Our thoughts: St. Ambrose has a proud and enduring history in the service of its core value mission to ensure the God-given dignity and worth of every person. That is why Breanna Toney carries more than her family legacy forward as she walks today on an SAU campus that is more diverse than ever before.

Since the fall of 2004, the number of self-reporting minority students on campus has more than doubled, from 301 to 700. The St. Ambrose experience also has grown more global both in look and outlook, with 94 international students pursuing degrees here this year while 130 SAU students are studying abroad.

This progress is the result of an intentional, institutional commitment to diversity. But, of course, any progress is never enough. Certainly not in this cause. Definitely not in this moment. ...

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magazine coverOur value: We believe that as individuals we are capable of living in the fullest measure when our lives are freely based on values that acknowledge a loving God and a life-affirming moral code. Therefore, we teach, learn, and work in a climate of mutual respect, honesty, and integrity where excellence and academic freedom are cherished.

Our thoughts: With examples of unprincipled behavior seeming to come at us non-stop on a digitized 24/7 news loop, where in the world can one turn to find the concepts of integrity, honesty, morality and mutual respect fully taking root?

Right here under the oaks is a good place to start.

The St. Ambrose mission is integrity in action. Enriching lives is an act of integrity. Service is as well. The pursuit of social justice. The promotion of academic freedom and excellence. The enabling of students to develop intellectually, spiritually, ethically, socially, artistically and physically.  All of these are actions rooted in integrity. ...

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Liberal Arts

magazine coverOur value: We are committed to the richness of the liberal arts tradition through quality instruction that fosters development of a broad awareness of humanity in all its dimensions. Ambrosians use their knowledge, talents, and career skills in service to others.

Our thoughts: "When you talk to CEOs and people in senior management," noted Paul Koch, PhD, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, "they are looking for people who write coherently, think critically and can help solve problems."

St. Ambrose alumni come equipped with those game-changing skills, Koch said, and not only because of general education requirements that ground them in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and the arts. They also benefit from pre-professional undergraduate and graduate programs which intentionally, liberally and consistently incorporate vital elements of the liberal arts into their teaching.

It works, this winning approach to comprehensively preparing game-ready graduates for the workplace and beyond. And it works for a lifetime. ...

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