In writing this year-end letter, I reflect on all our freshman classes over the years, and in particular our newest Class of ’26. I am so impressed by their keen interest and overall commitment for our mission to Impact Culture for Christ. We begin anew to form yet another class of future creators and innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs within the creative arts and business.
Contemplating our almost 1,000 graduates, and in particular our newest alumni—the Class of ’23—I praise God for their overwhelming embrace of our vision to be innovative and determined in their professional life, while striving boldly to proclaim His Gospel.
As JPCatholic continues to grow, we are strongly positioned to Impact Culture for Christ. This year our faculty network expanded yet again, bringing experience from Dreamworks, Industrial Light & Magic, AT&T, PepsiCo, Cartoon Network, and Rockstar Games. We have also expanded our Professional Connections outreach, and established formalized partnerships for internships and alumni employment with companies such as Yellow Line Digital and Akimbo Studios.
Our ambitious Feature Film Program, launched in 2021 to produce a feature film annually, had its first screening this year with O, Brawling Love! Our second film No Reception finished production in June, with Prof. Chris Riley at the helm as director.
Our new BFA in Visual Arts launched this Fall to strengthen and synergize our digital arts emphases. Its cutting-edge entertainment technology, along with our upcoming Digital Music emphasis, prepares students to forge collaborations across our many programs.
Our study abroad program with NET Ireland greatly expanded this year, with seven students traveling to Ireland for 3 months helping to spread the Gospel. The partnership was piloted in 2022 with just one student—the impact of her personal experience abroad was contagious.
With great excitement and a long anticipation, I am excited to share that the renovations of our Creative Arts Academic Complex are expected to complete mid-to-late 2024. We sincerely thank our benefactors for enabling this expansion, allowing us to serve our growing student body.
We now begin tackling our most important real estate project—the renovation of our Mother Teresa of Calcutta Chapel. Emboldened by a very generous gift of $1M from the parents of a JPCatholic alum, we continue in earnest to raise the remaining $3M required to complete the project.
Our students, faculty, staff, trustees, and benefactors make JPCatholic an incredibly special community. I am pleased to count you among our friends and supporters, and I thank you for being part of our important mission. 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