Fall 2020 Explore - Letter from Interim Executive Director
By Michael Nuttall
Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
Interim Executive Director
Associate Director | COO
Unprecedented. Uncertain. Overwhelming. The words to describe the time in which we currently find ourselvesare bountiful, and yet wholly insufficient. The global pandemic has turned our world upside down and forced us to reimagine ways to enhance our mission to better respond to the needs of our community. The rising chorus against the systemic racism that particularly attacks Black people challenges the core foundations in this country, and around the globe. How do we move forward? How do we find our way?
For us here in the Ignatian Center and at Santa Clara University, we rely on centuries of spiritual and intellectual exploration to help guide us. We look to our past so that we may productively move into our future. Our tradition, ingrained within our approach to higher education, has provided us profound lessons learned from past experiences of uncertainty, questioning, and seeking clarity. The essays in this journal represent some steps along that journey, all in service to greater clarity amid great uncertainty. The authors in this issue implore us to think about how our mission can transform our students and the world: calling us to rethink the language we use to talk about our mission; asking us to seek common ground; exploring the relationship between technology and human flourishing; and examining how our mission and tradition enhance leadership, support cooperation in a time of disruption, and develop well-rounded human beings.
We do not know exactly what comes next— for our Center, University, country, or world. Yet we find solace in knowing that when our goal is a more just, humane, and sustainable global community, there is no single path to achieve success. By keeping our eyes on this goal, we can move forward and find our way.
MICHAEL NUTTALL has served as the interim executive director since May 2020. In this role, he oversees the successful operation of all aspects of the Ignatian Center and paves the way for the new vice president of Mission and Ministry when that position is filled. In addition, Nuttall continues to serve as the associate director and chief operating officer, a role he has held since January 2015. In this role, he oversees the overall execution of the Center’s strategic plan. Nuttall and the Operations team are primarily responsible for managing the marketing, communications, and fundraising for the Center as well as providing logistical and operational support for the Center’s signature programs and the Center staff.