A Message to Ambrosians from President Amy Novak

As I walked onto campus on my first day, I stopped at the grotto to pray for blessings on this remarkable, diverse, and inspired community.

The Book of Deuteronomy reminds us to "love and serve God with all our heart, soul, and spirit." As alumni, you know this reading characterizes what an Ambrose education – anchored in the beauty and complexity of our Catholic tradition and open to all people – invites us to do.

We are living in times that call for a more intentional response to the needs of our neighbor and a more compassionate hand to heal the wounds of loneliness and despair. We are living in times that rely upon us to amplify voices that have been silenced, marginalized, and dismissed.

We are called to see the world through the eyes of any person who struggles to be seen not as a label but as a marvelous gift of God, a fellow sojourner who has prioritized values differently than us, or a lover of God who is called to courageously share one's love with a neighbor so different from oneself.

Higher education has entered a period of liminality, a time and space that holds the tension of the noble traditions of past generations and the future possibilities of continual transformation. The challenges that lie before us demand creative solutions and a renewed commitment to the common good. The challenges that lie before us demand an orientation that understands the work of higher education not merely as that of granting diplomas, but that of facilitating personal transformation and economic, social, and spiritual mobility.

I believe that St. Ambrose is well positioned to serve as an innovative and compassionate leader prepared to address these challenges in order to better serve learners across their lifespan.

What compelled me to accept this position was the ethos that emerged repeatedly and consistently throughout my conversations with all of the members of the St. Ambrose community. It was clear that the sincere focus is on learners and helping them discover the best version of themselves. Ambrosians are committed to serving the common good, drawing upon the love, mercy, and the grace of Christ to strengthen our common humanity.

Friends, let us begin our work together. Let us be anchored in Christ. Let us be unapologetically Ambrose: Anchored, Aware, Adaptive, Affordable, Accessible, and Attainable to the next generation of learners.

With Christ's blessings and under the guidance of St. Ambrose,

Amy C. Novak, EdD

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