Kevin Mackin Announces Plans; Student Leaders Bid Fond Farewell

Janet Gianopoulos Around the Province

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. —  Kevin  Mackin, who completed 11 years as president of Siena College last week,  announced plans to refocus on research, writing, and teaching.

“Our Franciscan Catholic learning community has progressed greatly in academics, finances, facilities, and our spiritual and student affairs,” he said.

“These challenges and more allowed me to use all of my credentials and experience: as an education executive, a fundraiser, a friar, a teacher. And contemplating our recent commencement ceremonies, I realize the joy of collaborating with so many wonderful students. I have greeted and graduated over 8,000 of them.”

Kevin said he is grateful for the opportunity to take his first year-long sabbatical since joining the faculty, and to update his religious studies. He will leave shortly to study Spanish at the Mexican-American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas, and then return to the East Coast to continue with work on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

He will then immerse himself in the Spanish language while residing with the Franciscans in Madrid, and will re-experience the Church in Eastern Europe, before taking residence as a visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. Kevin will also continue studies in Asia and Africa: again staying with local Franciscans.

His writings include several articles, and the book In Search of the Authentic Christian Tradition.  He hopes to work on three book texts during his sabbatical, and looks forward to new opportunities to write and speak about his areas of interest, which include the Bible, Christian theology, contemporary Catholic and Christian thought, the Gospels, and Catholic and Franciscan education.

The Board of Trustees of Siena College has appointed Kevin president emeritus. He is a tenured faculty member of the college.

Kevin’s successor as president of Siena College, Kevin  Mullen, has taught at several Catholic colleges, and has leadership experience as a rector, a pastor, and a board member of institutions including Siena College.

Students Bid Farewell with Letter
Leaders of Siena’s student senate recently acknowledged Kevin with a letter (text below). Student senate vice president Kristina Ferrar, shown in photo with Kevin, presented him with a placque of appreciation.

As members of the Siena community under the exceptional leadership of Fr. Kevin Mackin OFM, the Student Senate would like to whole heartily congratulate him as he steps down from the position of President of Siena College.  Fr. Kevin has led the college to extraordinary new heights in areas such as academics, technology and community. 

However, to the Students of Siena College, he will be remembered for more than a library or a science center, Fr. Kevin will be forever remembered for the enduring relationships and interactions he had with the students.

How many other students at other colleges have ever seen their college president rollerblading around campus?  Probably none, but now, who has had their college president who is rollerblading stop and shoot the breeze with them outside of the dining hall?  Fr. Kevin does.  What about a president who rides a mechanical bull in front of a mob of screaming students?  Fr. Kevin does.  What about a president who shows up to basketball games, visits the dining hall and knows every student by name?  Fr. Kevin does.  These unforgettable aspects of Fr. Kevin have made him renowned amongst the students at Siena.

It is clear that Siena students view Fr. Kevin as much more than just a president; he is our friend and as such we love and respect him dearly.  With that said, Fr. Kevin, we know that wherever your journeys take you, you will spread the same love and joy that you have so willingly poured into Siena.  Enjoy your sabbatical and until your return to Siena, we wish you in the best Franciscan Spirit, Peace and Good! 

The Siena College Student Senate

 —  Janet Gianopoulos is director of news services at Siena College.