Campus Notebook: Elizabeth Johnson honored; Dayton installing solar panels

This article appears in the Campus Notebook feature series. View the full series.

Editor's Note: Welcome to NCR's college roundup, where every Friday we bring you the latest news in Catholic college and university life. Do you have news you would like to share? Email James Dearie at

NEW YORK — Fordham University will host a celebration of St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson April 30, the university announced on its website.

Johnson is a well-known and highly respected theologian, the former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society, and author of the controversial 2007 book Quest for the Living God, which proved extremely popular with readers but brought her into conflict with the American bishops' conference.

She has been on faculty at Fordham since 1991.

The event in April will celebrate both Johnson's career as a whole and the release of her latest book Creation and the Cross. Johnson will speak with Jesuit Fr. James Martin about her book and "theological life in the church today."

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University is launching a new School of Leadership Studies, the university announced on its website March 20.

"While leadership degrees from undergraduate to doctoral programs are proliferating at schools nationwide," the university says, "Gonzaga is one of only a handful of universities with schools dedicated solely to leadership studies."

The new school will incorporate an undergraduate minor, two masters programs, and a Ph.D. program in leadership already available at the university, while also providing several professional development courses as well.

The school will officially be established June 1, with Jolanta Weber as interim dean. Weber is currently interim dean of the university's School of Professional Studies, which will be superseded by the new school when it opens.

DAYTON, Ohio — The University of Dayton announced March 15 that it will be installing over 4,000 solar panels on its campus.

The 4,026 solar panels are projected to provide 2 percent of the campus' power, save $300,000 over the course of their life, and to offset carbon emissions 1 percent, which the university says "is equal to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 278 cars."

The university says it hopes to have the new system online by 2019, and that the panels are expected to last around 30 years.

MOBILE, Ala. — As part of its Christus Lecture Series, Spring Hill College will host "The Deacons in Christian Tradition" April 12, the university said in a press release.

The talk will feature four deacons, three men from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Baptist traditions, and one woman from a Baptist Church. The panelists will have time for brief presentations and responses, as well as questions from the audience.

The history and function of deacons, particularly female deacons, has recently become an issue in some churches, including the Catholic Church, which is examining the possibility of ordaining women to the office, as well as the Orthodox Church, in which at least one patriarch reinstituted the practice last year.

[James Dearie is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Contact him at]

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