Emmanuel College Celebrates 30th Anniversary of President Sister Janet Eisner, SND
June 23, 2010
Sr. Janet Eisner, SND, one of the most accomplished and influential women in education in America, celebrated her 30th anniversary as president of Emmanuel College during a special event on the college's Boston campus on June 3rd. More than 400 people, including Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley and Mayor Thomas M. Menino, were in attendance.
Sr. Janet is the longest currently serving woman college president in the country. Her tenure at Emmanuel has been marked by innovative and bold decision-making and a passion for educating students in the Catholic liberal arts and sciences tradition.
"Back in May of 1979 when Emmanuel's Board of Trustees elected me president, I did not know where that path would lead. I did know that I was part of something larger, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, with our mission: ‘Making known God's goodness, educating for life,' a commitment that captures my whole being," she said. "Three decades later, I am still delighted to say, I love being president of Emmanuel College. It is a gift to work with others who believe deeply in the value and power of a transformative education. It is a privilege to serve the college and take an active role in the wider community."
At the core of Sister Janet's leadership remains an unwavering commitment to the mission of her founding order, which emphasizes social justice and service to the community and believes that education is the key to changing lives. She established the Center for Mission & Spirituality at Emmanuel College, which seeks to translate the mission, beliefs and legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame into action. Her vision for the Colleges of the Fenway collaboration has led to expanded academic and social opportunities across neighboring college campuses. Emmanuel's partnership with the city of Boston to renovate Roberto Clemente Field during the summer of 2009 resulted in a brand-new athletic and recreational facility benefiting the greater community.
"We continue to create here a place, as a Catholic college, where faith and reason are in dialogue, where philosophy and religious studies are in central in the curriculum, and where faculty and students discuss the ethical issues of our time," said Sr. Janet. "Going forward, we want to deepen our students' experience of this dialogue and expand it across the college."
In her 30 years of service, Sister Janet has guided Emmanuel through an era of exceptional achievement. A decision to admit men has resulted in enrollment more than tripling in the 10 years since the college became coed. In the past five years alone, she has orchestrated a physical transformation of Emmanuel's 17-acre campus, as the college opened a new student center and welcomed a global pharmaceutical company to its campus. This groundbreaking partnership with Merck Research Laboratories-Boston represents the only one of its kind in the country. Meanwhile, the new Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center, which opened this past fall, further responds to the need for students well versed in the sciences while leveraging Emmanuel's location within the world-renowned Longwood Medical and Academic Area.
Today, Emmanuel College is a thriving coeducational institution with a vibrant student body, dynamic academic and co-curricular programs, and enhanced facilities. Under Sister Janet's leadership, Emmanuel continues to strengthen its position as an instrumental Catholic arts and sciences college in the city of Boston. Meanwhile, she remains ever the influential visionary - an energetic and enthusiastic leader whose light continues to shine bright.