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Editor's Letter - Fall 2022

Reason to Celebrate

IN JULY DEAN’S Beauty Salon and Barber Shop of Northeast Portland threw a customer appreciation block party. They had reason to celebrate. The business—founded in 1956 by the parents of UP Regent Kay Dean Toran ’64—had recently earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places for its cultural and historical significance to the Black community in Portland.

The block party was a beautiful intergenerational celebration. Kids played jumbo-Jenga. Elected officials spoke. There was music and spoken word. Portland’s Black newspapers were there. When Kay took the mic, she started by praising her late parents. “They had a vision,” she said, and outlined their hopes to create a business that would allow them to take care of their family and be part of a community. It’s safe to say they succeeded. “We want to thank the customers for being part of a success story,” she added.

When you read Rosette Royale’s piece, “A Sacred & Historic Space,” I think you’ll feel part of that celebration, too.

University of Portland has good reason to celebrate as well. On September 23, 2022, Robert D. Kelly became our new president.

I expected to be impressed by the inauguration ceremony. And I was. But I did not expect to be moved. The love and support in the room was overwhelming. Individuals from more than 100 higher ed institutions and community organizations were at the event. Rob’s wife, Bridget Turner Kelly, spoke of their preparation and the strength of their faith. Their children—via video—offered their own congratulations.

One of Rob’s former colleagues, Fr. Brian Linnane, SJ, president emeritus of Loyola University Maryland, said, “To be a true Catholic university requires a commitment, particularly on the part of the faculty who teach and research, to the understanding that the human person is not merely a knowing machine. The person is essentially constitutively oriented toward meaning, value, and transcendence. For me this is what we Christians call God.”

The final event of the day was a dance under a big tent on the Academic Quad. There were bubbles. There were popsicles. Faculty, staff, family and friends of the Kellys, priests, students, and alums were all out there shaking a leg together. It was fun. The band played their hearts out. It was celebratory. Joyous. It was a community. Now? Well, now the party’s over, and we are back to the work of addressing our community’s needs and challenges, though none of that negates the good reasons to celebrate. The pandemic has made us all give up too many occasions to break bread and be together and dance. We sincerely hope this issue is full of stories “oriented toward meaning, value, and transcendence.” That is a verrry high bar, we know,

— Jessica Murphy Moo, Editor

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