This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.

On Campus

Published in 2018 Winter Issue

Be Still Like Water cast

Be Still Like Water

Playwright and Kansas City, Kansas, native Lewis Morrow performed a reading of his latest stage play, “Be Still Like Water,” for the Donnelly community on Oct. 18. Morrow, and the four actors who accompanied him to perform, told the story of two veterans returning home and attempting to adjust to life after being held captive as prisoners of war for five years.

After the reading, Morrow answered questions about the process of playwriting, career aspirations and how he writes for characters not like him, such as a woman. One question asked how this specific play came to be. Morrow initially wrote the piece as a ten-minute submission for a national playwriting contest. As one of only eight winners nationally, Morrow was selected to produce the show in Las Vegas. After the initial production, he returned to Kansas City where he developed the play into a 60-minute play for the Fringe Festival, a local performing and visual arts festival. 

Currently, Morrow is looking for additional locations to stage the production. Finally, Morrow encouraged students to embrace theatre as an important and wonderful art form that should be explored as often as possible. Learn more about Lewis Morrow and his plays here.

Dean of the college and Donnelly student

Donuts with the Dean

Donnelly students had the opportunity on Oct. 26 to meet with Lisa Stoothoff, acting vice president of academic and student affairs/ dean of the college, to talk about how their fall semester has been going, classes they enjoy, where they like to study and any questions about the college. 

“I wanted students to know that they could reach out and speak to me at any time about their experiences here at Donnelly College,” Stoothoff said. “Too often, I only meet students when there is an issue to be resolved.” 

In an effort to continue to be approachable for students, Stoothoff plans to host more events like this in the future. 

“While I walk the halls and attend student events every week, I would like to hold similar, informal meetings with students so they feel comfortable with approaching administration with their ideas,” she said.­

FOX4 surprises Sister Sharon

FOX 4 Surprises Sr. Sharon

Kansas City reporter Kathy Quinn from FOX4 News Kansas City was on campus July 26, surprising Sister Sharon Hamsa for Fox4’s Pay-It-Forward Award. Angelica Perez, a recent Donnelly graduate, nominated Sr. Sharon because of her efforts in starting the Campus Cupboard last academic year. 

“She was an amazing math teacher, and I really loved her as a teacher,” Perez said. “She helped the students struggling to get food meal to meal, and she researched different pantries at different schools. She started the pantry here at Donnelly.”

Watch the video and learn more here

Published in 2018 Summer Issue

Marian Hall Re-Opens After Renovation

In celebration of completing extensive renovations of Marian Hall as part of Phase II of Donnelly’s campus master plan, more than 100 community members, special guests, staff, faculty and students gathered on Jan. 25 to re-dedicate the building.

The event included a brief presentation by college leadership, a ribbon cutting ceremony, a prayer of dedication for the new space, open-house viewing of all floors, and the opportunity to learn more about the next phase of the campus master plan.

Marian Hall was used as a nursing student dormitory when the current Donnelly academic building was Providence Hospital. Today, the old dormitory is home to Donnelly’s nursing programs, the Gateway to College program and several other academic and administrative spaces.

Renovations were completed as part of Donnelly’s campus master plan designed to transform the entire campus. Marian Hall renovations added nine new classrooms, six faculty/staff offices, a computer lab and a collaborative study space for students. In addition, the elevator was modernized, sprinklers upgraded, and mechanical systems throughout the building improved. In total, academic space in Marian Hall doubled to 22,000 square feet.

“It really helps to see the ‘before’ pictures to be aware of just how much this building has transformed,” said Donnelly College President Msgr. Stuart Swetland. “It’s a sign, a symbol really, of the transformation we hope to bring to the hearts and minds of the students we serve.”

The third and final phase of Donnelly’s campus master plan will include the construction of a new 72,000 square foot academic and administrative building to replace the existing main tower on campus. Donnelly will proceed with Phase III once sufficient funds are raised. In addition to a revitalized campus, the campaign will also grow our endowment, ensuring that our mission will go forward in a vibrant and sustainable way. 

On Stage

The Donnelly College Meeting Room was transformed into a performing arts space by the Introduction to Theatre class on May 7 for their end-of-semester showcase. As the lights dimmed, students from the class processed to the stage where they performed a series of student-written monologues.

“I enjoyed watching the students open up emotionally and use their life experience as a gateway into their scenes and monologues,” said Richard Esvang, adjunct theatre instructor. “The first part of the semester was about building a community through exercises and improv techniques. We did scenes from plays, Shakespeare Monologues, as well as monologues they wrote themselves. Seeing them become comfortable and feeling secure enough to explore the emotions of their work was quite rewarding. I think in some ways they surprised themselves.”

Topics ranged from fitting in, to depression, to pregnancy, to gender stereotyping. The monologues performed were personal to each student.

“Many of the monologues came from an assignment where they had to write about their own experience…things, ideas, emotions that they have confronted recently or throughout their lives,” he said. “The purpose of that assignment was to allow them to understand that a performer must be able to use their own heart, mind and soul to create a performance or character.”

Portrait of the case of the assassination of Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero.

A Radical Conversion

More than 100 people joined together on campus on March 9 for a talk by El Salvadoran priest, professor and chaplain, Fr. Fredis Sandoval. Fr. Sandoval was visiting the United States to discuss pending canonization of former Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero.

Fr. Sandoval is a founding member of Concertacion Romero, an organization that promotes justice in the case of the assassination of Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who was shot and killed in 1980 while celebrating Mass.

Fr. Sandoval’s talk at Donnelly centered around the life of Romero, beginning with his earliest theological studies starting at age 14 in 1930. It was in 1977, however, that Romero’s already liberal theology evolved into what Sandoval described as a radical conversion to advocating for the oppressed while denouncing the government and army for their policies. In a speech on March 23, 1980, Romero said, “In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I beg you, I implore you, I order you...in the name of God, stop the repression.” He was killed the following day.

Concertacion Romero is working to keep Romero’s legacy alive. While the group acknowledges the 1992 investigation that found an ex-mayor had ordered Romero’s killing, they seek further information and justice, and are specifically looking for reparations, a memorial, a prohibition on the honoring of those that committed the murder, as well as several other items.

Romero is expected to be canonized alongside Pope Paul VI in October in the Synod of Bishops. 

Ben Lerner

Topeka-Born Poet And Novelist Visits Campus

Ben Lerner, poet, novelist, essayist, and critic, spoke to Donnelly students, faculty, staff and members of the public on April 27. The crowd was treated to a reading, by Lerner, from his critically acclaimed novel “10:04.”

Lerner also shared his thoughts and fielded questions about the role of the writer in society today, describing how politics and social and cultural issues impact his and others’ works. While it may be obvious that Lerner recognizes the power and importance of the pen, he pointed out how the use of language can build interconnection among people, and how writers must be willing to do more than write, they must “go into the streets” for what they believe in.

As a graduate of Brown University, a Fulbright Scholar and a MacArthur Fellow, Lerner follows a string of exceptional writers born in Topeka, Kansas, such as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks.

Lerner is the author of three books of poetry, “The Lichtenberg Figures,” “Angle of Yaw,” and “Mean Free Path,”; two novels, “Leaving the Atocha Station” and “10:04”; as well as several collaborations with artists. His most recent book is the monograph, “The Hatred of Poetry.”

Lerner currently serves as Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, N.Y.