by Brandon Job
Dr. Michael Brophy was officially installed as Hilbert College’s president earlier this month, surrounded by the college community in a ceremony held at Swan Auditorium.
Brophy, who started in his position with the college last year, was lauded by students, alumni and faculty during the ceremony, which included a mass attended by the Sisters of St. Joseph and other clergy. He is just the fourth person, and second lay person, to occupy the president’s office in the school’s 62 year history.
A skilled musician, Brophy entertained the audience with song at several points during the installation, performing both by himself and with the a choir.
He also tried to keep things light, giving the ceremony a joyous and celebratory tenor.
“I am under strict instructions from my family to keep it brief, so I’m going to play a song to start it and the we’ll get going,” Brophy said.
Dr. Kristina Lantzky, the Vice President of Student Affairs, said that Brophy is, “really leading the college in such a way that has led to a new sense of renewal and excitement that the students, faculty and staff truly feel.”
Brophy’s leadership has been complimented by others time and time again since he’s been here, she added.
Brophy returned the favor to staff, students and faculty, showering them with accolades after the ceremony.
“Definitely the dedication of the faculty and staff as well as the leadership of the board,” Brophy said in response to a question about the biggest strengths of the college.
Brophy said he recognizes that there are many challenges facing institutes of higher education right now, especially at private institutions like Hilbert.
“We have to face the fact there are few 18-year-old high school students that can come to us just because of demographics in Western New York, so it’s our job to make sure that we reach out to students outside of our zip code,” Brophy said “Whether it be through athletics, international programs or most likely online programs”.
Reflecting on his first year at the college, Brophy said he has had a great time getting to know everyone and that he is looking forward to a bright future.
“It feels great, feels like I’ve been here forever in one (year),” Brophy said. “But I have to say, today was a reminder of the awesome responsibility I have.”