Message from President Mary Finger on Recent Executive Immigration Order

Dear Members of the Seton Hill University Community,

The Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the U.S.,” signed on Friday, January 27 has generated concerns here and a vocal response by people across our nation. 

I write to state clearly that the Catholic Setonian values upon which this institution was founded remain our guidepost.  Seton Hill values diversity and the benefit brought by multiple cultures and perspectives living and learning together in our search for truth. As a Catholic institution of higher education, we reject messages rooted in hatred and intolerance, and we are deeply committed to the tenets of Catholic social teaching, which convey that every person has inherent dignity. Together, we will continue to work to sustain Seton Hill’s commitment to inclusion and respect for all members of our community and our country.

Seton Hill stands in solidarity along with our institutions of Catholic higher education and with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. 

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) issued a statement that I have signed as President and on behalf of Seton Hill University. The statement expresses the care we have for one another and summarizes appropriately the concern many people are experiencing, particularly those seeking education, refuge and citizenship in our country.  Please find the ACCU statement below this message.

If you have concerns regarding your own status—or that of a family member or friend—in light of the recent Executive Order, please contact Keisha Jimmerson, Associate Dean of Campus Life and Director of Multicultural and International Services by email, or by phone, 724-830-1089.  Keisha’s office can help direct members of our community with questions to the appropriate campus office and will work with our U.S. and international students to offer advice, guidance and support.

Pope Francis recently directed all of us to “make God’s merciful love ever more evident in our world through dialogue, mutual acceptance and fraternal cooperation.”  Toward that end, I encourage you to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Program planned for this Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 11:10 a.m. in Cecilian Hall.  The Multicultural Awareness Task Force of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee has developed a program that is timely and offers an opportunity for all of us to come together to address difficult issues confronting our country and our Seton Hill community.

Thank you for all you do to advance inclusion and respect for all members of our community. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.


Mary Finger

ACCU Statement on Recent Executive Order by the President

As the voice of Catholic higher education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities expresses its strong opposition to the Executive Order signed by President Donald J. Trump concerning U.S. immigration policy. We stand in solidarity with other Catholic and higher education organizations that recognize the moral obligation of our country to assist migrants, particularly those who are fleeing any kind of persecution.

In referring to the order’s halt of refugee admissions, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, stated, "We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. … We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities, without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones." (The USCCB statement is available online.)

Pope Francis has said that “authentic hospitality is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.” As ACCU gathers this weekend in Washington, DC to celebrate the value of diversity within Catholic higher education, we reaffirm the commitment of our institutions to creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments that embrace people of all faiths and cultures. Catholic higher education was founded precisely to serve the children of Catholic immigrants who in their own time were excluded from higher education. This is a legacy that we proudly pledge to continue.