As JPCatholic approaches our 20-year anniversary, I reflect in awe at all the ways the Lord has richly blessed us. And today, as I look at our University community—our students, faculty, alumni, and friends—I believe JPCatholic has never been more strongly positioned to impact culture for Christ.
This year has been momentous for JPCatholic in many ways. Two years ago, Prof. George Simon came to me with a vision for annually producing feature films as part of our curriculum. This summer, his ambitious dream was realized with the production of O, Brawling Love! The film will be distributed in 2023, and in the meantime our faculty are close to selecting next year’s project from a pool of strong student and alumni pitches.
Prof. Max Hulburt has crafted a compelling new degree program to strengthen and synergize our arts emphases: our BFA in Visual Arts will launch in Fall 2023. Max has also kept JPCatholic at the cutting edge of entertainment technology, training students in virtual production and motion capture techniques—which creates new synergies across our animation, film, and acting programs.
Prof. Joe Connolly recently took up the role of Business chair, replacing Jerry Jackson, who retired as one of our longest serving faculty members. His revamping of our Business LaunchPad will incentivize our student entrepreneurs with new pitch competitions to provide seed and growth funding.
Our Humanities chair, Steve Kramp, is absolutely beloved by students. In addition to his work fine-tuning our curriculum in theology and creative writing, he has spearheaded a successful overhaul of our core curriculum to better equip our students in their formation and intellectual growth as they train to become creators, innovators, and leaders.
Perhaps the biggest announcement—and one I am overjoyed to share—is that the renovation of our Creative Arts Academic Complex will begin in 2023, with an expected completion date in late 2023. We also purchased our 5th building, which houses our administration. I sincerely thank all of our benefactors for enabling us to take these crucial steps forward in campus expansion, empowering us to serve our growing student body (which is currently the highest it’s ever been, at 303).This was all done with JPCatholic operating financially in the black for our 17th straight year.
This short letter only scratches the surface of our blessings. My chats with students, alumni, and parents often bring delightful news of weddings, children, jobs and internships—praise God. The people of JPCatholic are what makes this place so special, and I am pleased to count you among our community of friends and supporters.
Please keep all of us in your prayers, as you will be in ours. May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
Derry Connolly, PhD