East Providence native Denning inaugurated as new Stonehill College president

East Providence native Fr. John Denning is inaugurated as the new president of Stonehill College in nearby Easton, Mass., Friday, Sept. 20. East Providence native Fr. John Denning is inaugurated as the new president of Stonehill College in nearby Easton, Mass., Friday, Sept. 20.

EASTON, MASS. — City native Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., was inaugurated as president of Stonehill College on Friday, Sept. 20.  With his inauguration, Fr. Denning, 53, becomes the 10th president in the College’s 65-year history.

East Providence native Fr. John Denning is inaugurated as the new president of Stonehill College in nearby Easton, Mass., Friday, Sept. 20.

East Providence native Fr. John Denning is inaugurated as the new president of Stonehill College in nearby Easton, Mass., Friday, Sept. 20.

In his inaugural address, Fr. Denning, who grew up in East Providence and graduated from LaSalle Academy in Providence, referenced one of the four principles of Catholic social teaching, solidarity, which professes that we are responsible for and to one another.

“This is an important aspect of the type of Catholic liberal arts education we provide our students at Stonehill,” he said, “That is, to see the real and true needs of our world and to find the courage, strength, grace and wisdom to work with other men and women of good will to address them while living in a spirit of solidarity with our neighbors.”

“Now in our 65th year,” he added, “we are still a relatively young institution and, while we have made major strides forward in that time, I believe that our best years are still ahead of us. I base my confidence on the spirit of dedication I see across our campus and the talented individuals who teach, mentor, and represent the College at all levels.”

Looking to the future, Fr. Denning identified four areas of focus: the development of an even stronger academic profile for the College, enhancing Catholic identity, deepening the commitment to diversity and working on the issue of affordability.

Formerly, the Vice President for Student Affairs at Stonehill, Fr. Denning succeeds Rev. Mark Cregan, C.S.C. who stepped down in June 2013 after 13 successful years of leading the College.

Stonehill is on a 384-acre campus in Easton, Massachusetts. The college engages over 2,500 students in 80-plus academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences and pre-professional fields.

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