Top
Image Alt

Principal

Winter 2024

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Assumption University – one of Canada’s most historic Roman Catholic institutes of higher learning. The year 2024 is shaping to be a historic year for Assumption University.

One of the events we have to look forward to is our 56th Convocation ceremony in June – an integral component of our academic revitalization. Our Chancellor, Bishop Fabbro will confer the first diplomas on the inaugural class of Graduate Diploma in Catholic Studies candidates. At this ceremony, these candidates will officially become part of proud alumni of one of the nation’s oldest Catholic institutes of higher learning.  We will also confer the Fr. LeBel Award and two honorary doctorates on worthy and inspiring individuals. All are welcome to join us as this momentous occasion.

At Assumption, we are pleased to welcome a few new colleagues to the university. Dr. Michael VanZandt Collins (Ph.D., Boston College) will join us as an Assistant Professor. Dr. VanZandt Collins will teach our Catholicism and Dialogue course this term. He is an expert in comparative theology, interreligious dialogue, and Catholic-Muslim relations. We also welcome another Assistant Professor, Dr. Gavin Wiens (Ph.D., University of Toronto) who will teach a course on the Holocaust this term. Dr. Wiens not only has experience teaching courses on the Holocaust and modern Europe, but has also just published a book entitled, The Imperial German Army Between Kaiser and King: Monarchy, Nation-Building, and War, 1866-1918. Finally, the distinguished Dr. Moira McQueen will join us as a Visiting Professor while continuing her duties at our sister school, the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto. Dr. McQueen will supervise one of our directed reading courses. Our readers may recall that Dr. McQueen is also a past recipient of the Christian Culture Series Gold Medal. We warmly welcome Drs. VanZandt Collins, Wiens, and McQueen to Assumption University.

Our Social Justice Committee is preparing for the Fourth Annual Fr. Joe Quinn Social Justice Series in April 2024. This series welcomes high school students who come to learn about an issue related to social justice. This year’s topic is Food Insecurity – a pressing issue in both our community and country.

Assumption University’s Campus Ministry program continues to work closely with the our friends at Canterbury College’s Campus Ministry. The Food for Thought program will be held during the Winter semester along with Multi-Faith prayer, I encourage you to check  for details on these exciting events at https://assumptionu.ca/programs-and-events/.

As always, thank you all for your support of Assumption University as we continue to teach goodness, discipline, and knowledge.

Sincerely,

John Cappucci, Ph.D.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

About the Principal – Dr. John Cappucci 

In 2020, Dr. John Cappucci was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Assumption University becoming the 29th leader of the university since its founding as Assumption College in 1857. He was formally installed on October 26, 2021 by the Most Reverend Ronald Peter Fabbro, CSB, Bishop of London and Chancellor of Assumption University. Prior to his official appointment, John served as Interim Principal from 2019-2020.

In this role, John focused on academic revitalization, partnerships, community engagement, and targeted fundraising. These efforts have increased Assumption University’s profile in the past two years. John has worked to expand Assumption University’s undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2022, a new Graduate Diploma in Catholic Studies was launched. The program is considered a hiring asset by seven school boards in the region and received the support of both the Bishop and Superior-General. In order to provide academic oversight that is key to any academic institute of higher learning, John successfully restored Assumption University’s Senate in 2022. He worked to expand Assumption’s Board of Governors to incorporate diverse skillsets and experiences. Under John’s leadership, Assumption became the second Canadian university to be admitted as a member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations. John’s dedication was recognized by his fellow principals and presidents leading to his selection as Chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC) in 2022. Prior to his selection as Chair, John served as Vice-Chair from 2020 to 2022.

John holds a Ph.D. from Carleton University; a Master of Arts from Queen’s University in Kingston; and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Windsor. John also has an active research agenda with refereed publications in Contemporary JewryCanadian Jewish StudiesFieldwork in ReligionJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and the Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies. His most recent article on antisemitism in Windsor appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism (2022). His research has also been discussed by local and regional media. In addition to his research record, John also have taught courses from across the humanities and social sciences resulting in top teaching scores. He has also served on graduate committees mentoring a future generation of academics.