In celebration of Women’s History Month, PA State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) conducted a special FB Live interview with Sister Carol Jean Vale, Ph.D., President of Chestnut Hill College.
Since 2014, Senator Haywood has represented Chestnut Hill College as part of his representation in the fourth senatorial district of Pennsylvania. He has been an instrumental part in helping the College secure funding for major projects including significant development grants for the renovations of Clement Hall in 2018 and the SugarLoaf campus in 2021. Sen. Haywood has also partnered with the College on several initiatives over his eight years as CHC’s senate representative including work around NARCAN training, and opportunities surrounding accessible college education for high school students of all backgrounds.
On March 3rd, Sister Carol joined Sen. Haywood as his first guest in a series focused on highlighting the monumental contributions of women in the Philadelphia area and beyond, as part of Women’s History Month. Sister Carol and Sen. Haywood discussed topics including Sister Carol’s upbringing as a child in a military family, her connection with the Sisters of Saint Joseph and her Catholic faith, opportunities for female leaders in higher education, her own journey from academician to president of the College, going co-ed, and more.
“Leaders have to dwell in the possible, always with an eye toward the future,” Sister Carol shared. “They have to have ‘impossibly daring visions of the possible,’ in order to move forward and make progress.”
Progress that included the decision to go co-ed in 2001. It was a decision that Sister Carol recounts was not wholly accepted then, but one that has been such a vital part of the growth of Chestnut Hill College, not just for women, but for everyone, in a way that supports the SSJ mission of educating all students, without distinction.
“I remember saying to the young women at the time of the announcement, ‘we are going to graduate men that you would want to marry. We are going to graduate the right kind of man, who understands and respects and cares for women.’” Sister Carol recalled. “And I want to tell you, I think our students at the College are those kind of men. To see their respect for women is very heartening because that’s who we are and that’s how we live and that’s what we expect. It is the kind of behavior we have modeled and when you model that behavior, people see that it’s good and become unthreatened by it – because they know they are respected and cared for in their own right…You don’t raise up women to denigrate men. You raise them both up together, to complement and help each other.”
To see the full Ask Art: Facebook Live Series interview, click here.
- Marilee Gallagher '14