The new president of St. Ambrose University sees her school as a table.
A table, Amy C. Novak told the public on Friday during her installation as the 14th president of Saint-Ambroise, is a place of connection. A table is where people find their food, both physical, emotional and spiritual. At the table, people come together and share life with each other. The university, she said, has been and will be such a center for the community.
It was in St. Ambrose that the first chapter of the NAACP at an American Catholic college was established, she said. In the 1980s and 1990s, the university identified the needs and then created educational programs for mature students.
In the times to come, Novak said, it will be a place where community leaders work together to create lessons for students trying to solve complex problems. It will be a place of faith aware of the needs of its students, the community and its business partners. It will be an affordable and accessible place for the learners of tomorrow.
“May the light of truth, healing and transcendent purpose be the nourishment we offer to all who gather around our table,” she said. “May we open our minds and hearts to the undiscovered possibilities that lie ahead. May we welcome everyone we meet to the Ambrose Table, a place where inclusive, innovative and inviting leaders are intentionally trained for the work of Christ in our world.