Charter Day marks the official recognition of Seton Hall by the State of New Jersey in 1861.
Although Seton Hall was founded in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, who named the college after his aunt, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, it took an additional five years for the New Jersey Legislature to take legal notice.
This year at Seton Hall we celebrate four milestones in our history: 160 years since our founding; 155 years since the advent of our charter; the 195th anniversary of the death of our namesake, the first American-born saint, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton; and 65 years since the granting of University-status to Seton Hall by the State of New Jersey in 1951.
Charter Day is a special opportunity each year to celebrate and reflect upon our history and purpose, our Catholic identity and our mission.
This year's keynote speaker for the event is Associate Professor John H. Shannon, Legal Studies, Stillman School of Business. A former Vice President for University Affairs and Stillman Dean, Professor Shannon teaches in the areas of Legal Environment, Law and Entrepreneurship, Global Business and Corporate Social Responsibility. His research interests focus on the intersection of law, business and technology, information privacy, employment and regulation of business. His talk for Charter Day is entitled, "Hazard Zet Forward," and is a discussion of how our commitment to the moral education of our students is affirmed while we adapt to the challenges they face in the 21st century. Professor Shannon received the Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished University Service in 2010.
Aptly, Charter Day is the day that we present the Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service. Named for the first president of Seton Hall, who throughout his life was dedicated to Catholic education, the medal is bestowed upon long-time employees for outstanding service and commitment to the University's mission. The medal is awarded by nomination of the University President and expresses the University's grateful appreciation and high regard for members of the Seton Hall community who have served beyond measure with selfless dedication and high distinction.
This year's McQuaid Medal recipient is Professor of English and Chairperson of the English department Mary M. Balkun, Ph.D.
Mary McAleer Balkun is also the Director of Faculty Development and Vice-Chairperson of the Faculty Senate. Since joining the university in 1995, she has chaired and served on a variety of committees, including the Faculty Guide Committee, the Program Review Committee, and the College of Arts and Sciences Rank and Tenure Committee.
She is author of The American Counterfeit: Authenticity and Identity in American Literature and Culture (University of Alabama Press) and articles on early American literature, pedagogy, and faculty governance. She is associate editor of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry: From the Colonial Era to the Present and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry. She is editor of Literature: A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader, and Women of the Early Americas and the Formation of Empire (Palgrave) and the forthcoming New World Upside Down: The Early American Grotesque (University of Alabama Press).
On receiving the award, Professor Balkan said "I am deeply honored to receive the McQuaid Medal. I long ago came to believe that in serving Seton Hall I was serving something greater than myself, something rare and something special. My beliefs were proved happily true over the years and when I look at the service of those before and around me, this recognition is both humbling and most appreciated."
In addition to bestowing the McQuaid Award on Charter Day, the University community will recognize our student servant leaders. The Servant Leader Award is given to students who show dedication to helping the larger and Seton Hall community, who get involved in activities on and off campus and who most importantly model the work of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
The 2016 Servant Leader Scholars:
Learn more about Charter Day and its program of events, the Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service (and this year's and past years' recipients) and the founding of Seton Hall University.
The 2016 Charter Day celebration will take place on
Wednesday, April 20, at 3 p.m. in Jubilee Hall auditorium.