Superintendent, Hawaii Catholic Schools
Good afternoon Bishop Larry; Brother Stephen Glodeck; Br. Bernard Ploeger; all the Marianists gathered; the faculty and staff of Chaminade University; The Chaminade Board of Regents; and all other distinguished family and friends.
Br. Bernard Ploeger was recruited from Dayton, Ohio to serve as the Provost by our beloved Sue Wesselkamper, who I know is smiling on these ceremonies today. When he arrived I know that he must have felt a need to bend a bit whenever he greeted me and the many other shorter people of our island but he never alluded to that difference in height!
Br. Bernie came in answer to a call to save a dream; to be part of a dream; to build the dream of his brother Marianists when they founded Chaminade University. What a team he and Sue were as they successfully unfolded the Transformations Campaign. But then, God had a different plan. The team could be no longer and we searched for a new leader. Br. Bernard Ploeger, a man of deep faith and conviction, committed himself to serve in the awesome role as the next President of Chaminade University which we gratefully celebrate today!
President Ploeger is a transformational educational leader rooted in the Marianist tradition and life. He has brought a clear sense of mission and is driven to ensure that the one and only Catholic university serves the needs of our local Church and those of our island community and beyond.
Brother Bernie has given energy and focus in building partnerships across the state and beyond. The one I am most familiar with is that with Hawaii Catholic Schools. Brother Bernie has exhibited courage, charisma, imagination, and commitment in building those partnerships. He stretches, sometimes beyond reason, to support any program that might benefit those serving in all educational institutions, especially in Catholic schools. He supported the VLCCFF program from Dayton that provided the first cyber-space connection that helps our teachers grow in knowledge and faith. He boldly accepted a meek financial proposal to secure an administrative cohort preparing future leaders in Catholic schools. He continues to support and engineer all programs that assist the spiritual and professional development of all learning communities.
President Ploeger has supported the professionalism of the Chaminade faculty. He dares to take risks with the faculty in developing new programs that enhance the career opportunities for students. Together they have created excellent programs that have made Chaminade a university of choice both for academic advancement and the deepening and awareness of one’s faith journey. Graduates of Chaminade know the meaning of service and their role in building a just and peaceful society.
Brother Bernard Ploeger dares to dream and knows how to collaborate; motivate; and inspire others to be involved in that dream. We are blessed and filled with gratitude that his journey has led him to Chaminade. Congratulations Br. Bernie!