From the October 11, 2007 issue
By Christopher Hannmann
Seventy years since Siena’s first class walked its halls, members and guests of the Siena College community gathered together to welcome its 10th president. Father Kevin J. Mullen, OFM was inaugurated Monday, October 1, 2007. The event, held in the Alumni Recreation Center, brought about 2,500 spectators and lasted about two hours during which Mullen was graciously praised and adorned by members of the College community.
Keynote speaker, Father Kenneth Himes, OFM of Boston College, spoke at the event. He noted that while other religious orders are known for rule, or theological tradition, “the Franciscans have a man that they cherish…to place oneself under the tutelage of Francis, and allow his reading of the Gospel to become a touchstone for one’s life, is to be a Franciscan.”
Father Kevin touched upon his role as president in his address as well, in which he continued with his theme of “a time to begin again.” Mullen stated “I stand before you a lucky man at a school that shaped me as a person and as a friar.” Mullen, who became a friar a month after graduating from Siena in 1975, takes over the presidency after Father Kevin Mackin’s eleven year tenure.
Mullen also expressed how fortunate he is to succeed Fr. Kevin Mackin. “Fr. Kevin (Mackin) passed on a good school,” states Mullen, “and because of that I see nothing to change.” Mullen says that his task right now is to listen to those in and around the Siena College community.
In a press conference following the inauguration, Promethean editors had the opportunity to ask Mullen more student related questions. “Students should feel free to approach me,” states Mullen, “My hope is that students can share with me their concerns, their likes, and their dislikes about the College.” Mullen also comments that while he is a busy man, he will continue to address the needs of the Siena College community through talking with students. He also mentions that with the introduction of e-mail in recent years, it makes it much easier for Mullen to hear the needs of Siena students. He even answers his own e-mail.
Fr. Mullen says he is focusing on the College’s mission, and the Franciscan theme of “beginning again.” He is quick to praise the 70 year heritage and the latest news at the vibrant college.
When asked about the memories that he has about his time at Siena College, Mullen states “I wasn’t the most studious guy, but I took academics seriously. I had great professors that made me want to continue to study education. This place (Siena) helped shape me into the person that I’ve become.”
However, while Mullen once played intramural sports during the 1970s at Siena, students should not expect to see him rollerbladng like his predecessor. “No rollerblading for me,” states Mullen, “My ankles are shot from too many years of playing hoops.”