Making a real difference

Getting caught up:

¯ The majority of people who live in our region appreciate the impact on our community that is provided by the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

We’ve seen the economic studies that show the millions of dollars the school helps to put into the region’s economy each school year. We’ve also seen how the conferences and other events held on the campus also generate money for local businesses, and how people from many different professions can say the training and education they received in our city has helped them become successful in their careers.

It’s sometimes easy to forget, though, that the university attracts students from all parts of the world. Those students were recognized — and welcomed to our community — during the annual international student dinner held Nov. 6 in the Gentile Gallery.

The evening, hosted by the university’s board of advisers and international student office, offered the opportunity for the 26 students, who come from nine countries, the chance to meet with members of the community, learn a little about the history of the region and discover a little bit more about each other.

They each had an interesting story to tell about how he or she reached the decision to study along the banks of the Ohio River. Some learned about the school from a parent or a sibling who had studied there. Others were encouraged to attend by a priest in their home country. But all said they knew that if they came to Steubenville they would receive a quality education in a faith-based environment that is respected in all parts of the world.

Juliana Deluca Daugherty, the school’s director of orientation and international studies, helps to ensure that students who live outside the United States and who want to come to Steubenville are able to navigate sometimes-cumbersome government regulations.

It was an event that served as a reminder of the global reach of the university and of the impact the school has had — and will continue to have — well beyond Steubenville.

¯ That the university is able to continue to offer a quality education is the result of an awful lot of hard work, something that was recognized during the 68th-annual Founders’ Association Dinner.

Receiving Founders’ Awards were professors Floyd F. Cogley Jr., Mary F. Salter and Mary Lucille Smith. The three were honored for their efforts at developing the education and mathematics programs at the university.

Cogley’s work, for instance, helped in the school’s transformation from a college to a university and brought great improvements to the university’s education department. Salter helped to develop the university’s computer science program and helped to move the school into the age of computer networks. Smith’s work was instrumental in moving the school’s graduate program toward online-based learning.

“If you had to select a theme for tonight’s dinner, it would be education,” the Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, said during his remarks.

The awards are presented annually to the men, women and organizations in recognition of their contributions to the university and the community.

Also honored during the dinner are recipients of several scholarships.

It’s an annual event that was first held Dec. 7, 1949, and organized by the school’s first president, the Rev. Dan Egan, as a way to draw the university and civic communities together.

Both dinners — one to recognize those whose work has helped transform the school and the community, and one to help welcome students who come to the community from around the world — help to showcase the important role the school plays in our area.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)