Pres. Michael Scaperlanda’s Vision for Catholic Education at St. Gregory’s University

Dr. Michael Scaperlanda, the new president of St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., wants Catholic students to know that they can have it all: faith, education and career.

In an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society and in his address following his inauguration as the 16th president of St. Gregory’s on March 21, Dr. Scaperlanda argued that there’s no reason a Catholic college can’t faithfully live out its Catholic identity—with a firm grounding in the liberal arts and a clear emphasis on forming the whole person—and still prepare students well for “the servile arts.”

“A university deeply enmeshed in its Catholic identity is a particularly good place to receive such practical training,” Scaperlanda said.

He emphasized this point by preceding his inauguration ceremony with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City and the university’s first bi-annual “Leisure and Labor Conference.”

“Michael Scaperlanda is a great choice to lead St. Gregory’s University at this time,” Archbishop Coakley said. “Under his leadership I am confident that the University will thrive providing students with the intellectual, moral and spiritual formation crucial to living joy-filled lives oriented toward the common good.”

The new president was also praised by Father Don Wolf, chairman of the university’s board of directors, and David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma where Scaperlanda taught law for many years. “Scaperlanda’s vast leadership experience coupled with his passion for St. Gregory’s mission, commitment to excellence, tireless work ethic and effective communication skills bode well for St. Gregory’s future,” Boren said.

Before his appointment as president of the Newman Guide-recommended university, Scaperlanda had been a member and vice chairman of the board and helped create St. Gregory’s strategic plan, “Vision For Our Next Century.” He has been married 35 years to…

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