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The winter solstice marks an inflection point in the earth’s orbit, reorienting the angle of the sun to gradually restore light and warmth to each lengthening day. From December’s darkness, we look forward to brighter days and remind ourselves of what is to come. As Seamus Heaney wrote, “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.”

Wintering it out is not the same as looking past or avoiding the work to be done. We make our way through winter, through dark times, by meeting the challenges of each day with a belief in the value of each task accomplished as well as the cumulative results of tasks completed.

Although we have cycled through nature’s seasons over the past two years, the pandemic has lowered a persistent fog over our lives. The way forward has not always been clear, and yet, Iona has moved forward decisively. The same light that enabled Edmund Rice to see the need for education under the most difficult of circumstances has illuminated the way for the Iona community over the past two years. As a result, when most schools have been forced to retract, Iona has grown.

We improved enrollment for two consecutive years and almost doubled the size of our campus by purchasing the Concordia College campus in Bronxville. We partnered with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to form a new school of health sciences, and on Thanksgiving night, we defeated Alabama, the 10th ranked basketball team in the country. Hundreds of students participated in newly formed club sports, and our Irish dance team, formed less than a year ago, placed first in the national competition held at Villanova University in the fall. We created the Gaels Go Further mentoring program providing students with access to our alumni to facilitate their progress towards professional life. Iona is a school on the rise, and the excitement is palpable.

This excitement is helping us forge through a persistent pandemic that is forcing us all to shift expectations of what the future will be. At Iona, we made that shift early so that we not only met immediate challenges but developed a platform to thrive in the future. This work would not be possible without the support and guidance of so many of our alumni across the globe. In this edition of Iona College Magazine, we speak directly with four Iona alumni who are among the world’s top C-suite executives. We arc delighted lO share their insights, and through their example, the value of an Iona educa.Lion. On behalf of the college, I extend my gratitude to each for their guidance and generosity.

Our spirits are rising at Iona, and so is our reputation. As we elev.t.te, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our educationa1 mission, and we are sustained by the spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Congregation of Christian Brothers. Our work, like theirs, is grounded in humility, perseverance and faith. These arc the qualities that will lead us to a bright future.

I wish you all health, peace and happiness in the new year.

Seamus Carey, Ph.D.
President, Iona College

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