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Saint Xavier University celebrates Founders' Day on Dec. 1

Special activities planned to honor founders

Chicago (Nov. 20, 2006) – Saint Xavier University will commemorate its founders with song, prayer and reflection at the annual Founders’ Day celebration on Friday, Dec. 1.

“Honoring Mother Frances Xavier Warde, the American founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and her patron Saint Francis Xavier, the Ignatian missionary, Founders’ Day celebrates the Mercy heritage of prayer, service, and the liberal arts and sciences at Saint Xavier University,” said event organizer Sister Susan Sanders, R.S.M., vice president for University Mission and Heritage.

This year’s event will feature presentations of contemplation, song and reflection under the title “A Call to the Liberal Arts and Sciences,” during a celebration at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in McDonough Chapel at Saint Xavier University’s main campus at 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago.

In “Carvings and Contemplation,” Steven Murphy, vice president for University Advancement, will give a presentation on his wood bird carvings. “I have observed birds in the wild since childhood, but could never get close enough to look. By carving them from a block of wood, my birds sit still so we can ponder their beauty, their fragility, and the places they visit between heaven and earth,” said Murphy, of Beverly. “They remind me of how much I treasure the meditative side of life that carving inspires. Creativity and spirituality are closely aligned.”

Abdul Wazwaz, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, will give a presentation titled “Spirituality and Research” in which he explores how mathematics is about beauty, truth, honesty and God-directedness. “Anything I have learned or discovered has been because it has been directed by God. It is a gift,” Wazwaz said.

Senior Aaron Solomon-Mills of Justice will perform on piano Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum titled “The Music of Dreams.” Self-taught since the age of 18, Solomon-Mills has been a member of the University Jazz Ensemble, the Saint Xavier Men’s Ensemble and the Piano Ensemble. He was selected to perform in Saint Xavier’s Music Department Honors Recital in 2005 and 2006.

The Saint Xavier University Women of Distinction Choral Ensemble will perform choral hymns from the Rig Veda, Opus 26, No. 3 by Gustav Holst, with Reneé Wilson on harp. The ensemble will be directed by Jan Bickel, D.M.A., director of vocal studies in the music department. The oldest body of sacred texts in the world, the Hindu Vedas consist mostly of simple hymns, ritual chants and invocations to fire, water, the sun, and other manifested aspects of the One, Brahman, the deity of the Hindu religion.

The Founders’ Day celebration begins with a Eucharistic celebration at 11:30 a.m. in McDonough Chapel. It also includes an awards ceremony honoring an outstanding faculty member, student and staff member at 2 p.m. and a reception in the Butler Reception Room.

Founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University is a comprehensive Catholic university serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago and Orland Park. The University offers 35 undergraduate majors and more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing with day, evening and weekend courses to fit busy schedules.


Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3937
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp