Dean’s Notes: Mary McCullough – ‘Tis the Season

Dean’s Notes is a periodic feature of LMU This Week where the university’s academic leaders share their perspectives with the community. The deans of LMU’s seven schools and colleges will provide updates on priorities, policies, events, challenges, and areas of interest.

Mary K. McCullough, Ph.D., interim dean of LMU School of Education, writes:

Mary 300x300 - Dean's Notes: Mary McCullough - ‘Tis the Season
Mary K. McCullough, Ph.D., interim dean of LMU School of Education

‘Tis the Season to Believe.
The traditions of the Christmas season call us to believe. Children believe in the magic of Christmas – “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Christians believe in the miracle of the Holy Family in Bethlehem and the redemptive promise of the baby Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Faith is an expression of belief; as Martin Luther King Jr. taught, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” The LMU School of Education believes in the joy of sharing a variety of faith traditions, honoring each, and embracing our unique differences.

Together, we believe!

‘Tis the Season to Rejoice.
The holiday season brings anticipation of things to come in the new year. We look forward to new beginnings, new adventures, new friendships, and new ways of giving. Most importantly, we are called to live the Ignatian value of the magis, as we try to do the more, the better, and the greater.

At LMU, we rejoice in our wonderful and diverse community, our beautiful campus on the bluff overlooking Los Angeles, and our opportunities to develop the whole person. In the School of Education, we rejoice in our own recent successful California and national accreditations. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) fully accredited all 11 of our credential programs for the next seven years. In October, the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) fully accredited our teacher preparation programs for the next seven years. We are the first university in California to earn this national accreditation.

Together, we rejoice!

‘Tis the Season to Dream.
Christmas present is a reminder of Christmas past. The holidays are a time to remember childhood, loved ones gone too soon, and dreams not yet realized. The dreams of the Christmas season range from dancing sugar plum fairies to discovering a cure for cancer. In dreams, we create goals and plans for the future.

The mission of LMU calls us to dream and work to realize justice for ALL. In the School of Education, we dream of days when ALL students are successful, achievement gaps disappear, and ALL families are food and shelter secure. We focus on helping others realize dreams and promoting social justice for those who need it most. As Karen Armstrong states, “Every single one of the major traditions teaches a spiritualty of empathy, by means of which you relate your own suffering to that of others,”

Together, we dream!

‘Tis the Season to Be.
We can believe, rejoice, and dream, but the best we can do is BE. We can be present in every moment, grateful for all we are, and blessed for all we experience. We can be willing to give of ourselves and share our gifts with others.

As members of the LMU Community, we are called to be women and men with and for others.

In the School of Education, we are grateful to be on the cutting-edge, as we train future generations of educators and leaders to provide the best for our children. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are making an impact throughout the state, around the nation, and across the globe.

Together, we are!