Dean Visits White House

Written by Hannah Mello
September 29, 2015

This past month, Dean Mark S. Markuly, PhD joined a small group of select seminary and university executive leaders at the White House?s fifth annual President?s Interfaith & Community Service Campus Challenge Reception. The gathering recognized institutions that have been counted in this past year?s President?s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for ?solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement? with ?meaningful, measureable outcomes? in the community. Seattle University was one of four finalist institutions. The Faith & Family Homelessness Project from within Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry was recognized as significantly contributing to the honor, as it works with interfaith communities around the issue of family homelessness. ?Read more about the honor, here.

The group was welcomed by Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and received by Valerie Jerrett, Senior Advisor to the President, and Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. Participants left the White House to gather additionally at Howard University for an interactive program (see the agenda, here). As the day of the gathering was September 11th, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, and others gave reflections on the events of September 11, 2001. ?President Obama was unable to join the group in person, but offered recorded remarks.

Photos from Dean Markuly?s cell phone on the day:?

President addresses gathering with message of the importance of linking high education, interfaith encounter and dialogue and community service.

Dr. Siti Syamsiyatun of the Consortium for Religious Studies, an Indonesian leader, explains the how the dynamics of faith, higher education, and service intersect in her nation.

Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, launches White House convening on President's Interfaith Community Service Campus Challenge.?

??Paul Monteiro, the Director of Americorps VISTA announces the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll?

President?s Honor Roll with distinction announcement

Michelle and Clifton Cottoms share the heartrending experience of losing their daughter Asia Cottoms on September 11, 2001. Eleven-year-old Asia was on the flight that crashed into the pentagon after winning a national geographic contest.

Julian Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, reflects on the events of September 11, 2001 and what has transpired since in interfaith community service work.

Dr. Hussein Rashid of Hofstra University reflects: ?"I can't talk about the hope after 9/11, without talking first about the pain." He started blogging about Islam and working toward interfaith understanding and resiliency in New York City. He now works with several regions around the world on issues of dialogue.

Learn more about the President?s Campus Challenge online, here.?