A new microsite for Character and Virtue Education at Saint Mary’s launches this November as part of the larger university website. Saint Mary’s current strategic plan, “Building a Future Full of Hope 2025,” introduced a university-wide initiative on character education and virtue formation. The need to share the progress of this initiative, formally approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2020, within Saint Mary’s as well as the broader community became increasingly clear.
“A website is often the most sought-after source of information about an organization and its work,” said Kelly Shannon, vice president for Marketing and Communication. “We hope visitors find the Character and Virtue Education website easy to navigate with robust and compelling content. The goal after a visit is a good understanding of the work and a hunger to engage and learn more.”
The site includes an explanation of how the initiative on character and virtue education came to Saint Mary’s as well as the Position Statement, a foundational document composed by the Character Education Advisory Council. Future content will provide resources to support teachers and educational leaders as they implement character initiatives in their schools.
“There is so much energy around this new initiative at Saint Mary’s that in a very short amount of time we already have a lot of news to share and events to promote,” said Michael Hahn, Ph.D., program director of Character and Virtue Education. “And as this initiative continues to expand and evolve, the resources offered on the website will also continue to grow.”
The website includes event information for a forthcoming speaker series beginning in spring 2021. Saint Mary’s will host three nationally-prominent speakers who will present on topics related to character and virtue.
Hahn noted that the progress on the new website would not have been possible without the continued collaboration between Saint Mary’s and the Kern Family Foundation. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota received a $1.7 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation in November 2019 to support its work in the area of character and virtue education.
“It is my hope that the Character and Virtue Education website will be a place of learning, encouragement, and inspiration for all those who care deeply about their own goodness as well as about building a society dedicated to the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty,” said Father Burns, IVD, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary’s.