Calumet College of St Joseph Welcomes New President with Inauguration Ceremony in Whiting

Calumet College of St Joseph Welcomes New President with Inauguration Ceremony in Whiting

The tagline for Calumet College of St. Joseph, also known as CCSJ, is warm, simple and friendly - “You belong.” It conveys a simple, but powerful message: this is your home. This is where you fit in. This is where you are needed, and where you need to be.

Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) is a small, family-oriented, four-year college offering master's, bachelor's, and associate's degrees.

This afternoon, the college welcomed their new president, Dr. Amy McCormack with an inauguration ceremony held at the landmark St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. The event was opened by Principal Celebrant for the event, Donald J. Hying, Bishop of Gary, Indiana, along with Concelebrants including the Very Reverend Larry Hemmelgarn, C.P.P.S, and Reverends Timothy McFarland, Mark Peres, Kevin Scalf and Reverend Monsignor Joseph Semancik, Ph. D. The inauguration was also witnessed by several officials from CCSJ and was attended enthusiastically by members of the community, who joined in welcoming the new president to the college.

“Dr. McCormack has been amazing,” said Linda Gajewski, Director of Communications and Public Relations for CCSJ. “She has just jumped in with both feet and probably already knows at least half of our student population at the college. She knows all of our faculty, she’s very hands-on and very much a ‘people person.’”

The theme of “You Belong” was ever-present throughout the inauguration, which featured a solo performance of “You Belong Here” by soloist and songwriter Anna Fermin, and continued throughout Dr. McCormack’s inaugural address to the congregation.

“What does the future that you desire to create require of you today?” asked Dr. McCormack during her inaugural address. “This is a great question about owning, and yet living, in the moment. How do you end up in the place where you belong, and how does one become who they are? I have a feeling that a lot of it has to do with believing in education. I am confident that I would not be where I am today without a commitment to education. But not just reading books or going to class, but education from being open to growth. A desire to learn about topics, people, and life. To welcome and learn from new experiences. To listen to and understand the beliefs of others. To test your limits and reflect on the learning that comes from disappointment and even failure. That, to me, is education. A desire to grow in all directions.”

Dr. McCormack says that she believes in the 3 A’s of education: access, affordability and attainment.

“Calumet College of St Joseph has a significant role to play in this community. I want to make that role even more significant,” said Dr. McCormack, whose goal is simple, as stated in the message she had sent to her family, on which she shared with the crowd today.

“I want to change the world.”

“I see all the wonderful assets that we have right here in our area. We have a very diverse student population - some are local, others come from abroad, but we are happy to serve them all.” She hopes to grow enrollment and is looking to do that primarily through the Residence Halls project, which she feels would enable the college to be able to offer a more traditional college experience to students, and could help the college to better engage with students, offering them more than just a classroom education, but an improved overall education experience.”

Ana Andrade, Hammond resident and employee of CCSJ is optimistic about the new president.

“I feel inspired,” said Andrade. “It’s exciting. I feel she speaks from her heart and I’m excited to work with her to help bring the college to the community in the vision that she has for CCSJ.”

It’s very clear that Dr. McCormack feels that she is exactly where she should be.

“This is where I belong.”

For more info on CCSJ, please visit