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Principal

Winter 2023

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Assumption University – one of Canada’s most historic Roman Catholic institutes of higher learning. In the past year, Assumption University has seen exponential growth on several fronts. This growth would not have been possible without the support of our students, staff, friends, alumni, and benefactors.

As we enter our 166th year of excellence, we have made tremendous advances at both the undergraduate and graduate levels along with our dynamic campus ministry program and innovative social justice series.

Our new Graduate Diploma in Catholic Studies that was launched this past fall has expanded once again. To accommodate this growth, it was necessary to increase our teaching staff. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Bridget Campion who will teach Catholicism and Social Justice during the Winter 2023 term. Dr. Campion has extensive graduate teaching experience at several prominent Catholic institutes of higher learning. In addition, she has written extensively on a host of issues related to social justice and bioethics.

I am pleased to share that we have a new scholarship for this diploma bringing the total to five. The William E. Kelly Scholarship in Catholic Scholarship has just been established by Mrs. Clare Koopman in honour of her late father. The scholarship is named for a proud alumnus of Assumption College who went on to become a well-respected Catholic lawyer in the city. Applications for this new scholarship will be available later this term. The scholarship recipient will be able to apply the funding for the Spring 2023 semester.

On April 27, 2023, Assumption University will present the Christian Culture Series Gold Medal – a medal that traces its origins to 1941. We are pleased to share that The Honourable Graydon Nicholas will receive this year’s medal. Mr. Nicholas is a member and Elder of the Maliseet First Nation. He is the first Indigenous person in Atlantic Canada to receive a law degree. Throughout his career, Mr. Nicholas has worked to promote the interests of First Nation communities across this Land. In addition, he served as the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 2009 to 2014. Today, he serves our sister school, St. Thomas University in Fredericton as its chancellor. In addition, Mr. Nicholas also came to speak to our Foundations of Catholic Thought graduate class this past November. We are pleased to be honouring such a deserving individual with this historic medal.

Assumption University’s Campus Ministry program continues to work closely with the our friends at Canterbury College’s Campus Ministry. This past semester, both teams stood in solidarity with our Iranian students during a candlelight vigil. The team is also promoting mental wellbeing and will be a part of the Lancer’s Care Mental Health Initiative. Also, to help provide a quiet study space, I am pleased to share that Assumption University’s Student Lounge has reopened. All students are welcome to study, enjoy a cup of tea, or quietly chat with their friends.

This year’s Fr. Joe Quinn Social Justice Series’ topic will be the Underground RailroadThe series will be held at the historic Sandwich First Baptist Church given it is situated on the Underground Railroad. High school students from both school boards will take part in the day’s activities. This series would not have been possible without the generous support of the Charles and Ethel Cohen Family Foundation.

Please visit our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed regularly as we have many forthcoming updates on the horizon. With your support, we will 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.