Characteristics of Marianist Universities

Characteristics of Marianist Universities
• Educate for formation in faith
• Provide an integral quality education
• Educate in family spirit
• Educate for service, justice and peace
• Educate for adaptation and change
Who are the Marianists? Marianists are members of the Catholic Society of Mary. Marianists embrace the idea of education as a mechanism to transform society, and have founded many schools and three universities. The Marianist spirit is one of openness, mutual respect, and acceptance.
Below are some distinctive Marianist qualities that influence the Chaminade educational experience:
Marianists are inclusive
Chaminade is a Catholic school. Marianist brothers live in a community on campus. There is an active campus ministry; many non-Catholics as well as Catholics participate. 60% of the student body is not Catholic; many faiths and backgrounds are represented on campus, including Buddhism and Native Hawaiian spirituality. A healthy dialogue among the faith traditions is appreciated and reflected in the coursework from several departments, and in campus life. This diversity and acceptance is part of the Chaminade experience.
Marianists actively seek to better society
One of the top priorities in the Marianist order is working for the universal value of social justice. Programs here are designed not just for the benefit of the student, but also for the student to know how to become an instrument of social change. An example is the Hogan Entrepreneurial Program, with a non-profit emphasis, to inspire business startups that make social sense as well as business sense. Many departments have designed an (optional) service-learning component into coursework. An example are the Tax Clinics, where accounting students get real-world experience helping clients get a much-needed tax refund –especially needed if the client is homeless.
Marianist values are progressive
Marianists believe in working to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, and injustice, to build lasting peace. Education is a theme that runs through all Marianist activities. Father Chaminade, the founder of the order, lived through one of the bloodiest and most turbulent periods of history – the French Revolution, and saw education for all as the means to solve problems in society. Other progressive ideals are: Marianists believe in non-violent solutions to conflict. Marianists also believe that peace comes from being in right relationship with ourselves, others, and the world, and this includes taking care of the environment. Marianists not only wish to be agents of change, but also that they be in right relationship with change, and embrace technological advance and the ethical use of such technology.
The Marianists at Chaminade
The Marianists (Society of Mary) is a Roman Catholic religious order of men who founded Chaminade University as St. Louis Junior College in 1955. They have been bearers of the Catholic and Marianist traditions in their educational efforts since they first arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1883.
They live in a community of equals, brothers and priests, modeling the Spirit of Mary, the mother of Jesus and witness to Christ’s transforming presence on campus. There are over 20 Marianists brothers and priests who live in three separate community houses on the campus. Some of the brothers serve the University as administrators, professors, campus ministers, and more. Additionally some of the brothers serve St. Louis School, a school for young men grades 5-12 also on our campus. Some of our brothers are in active retirement and can still be seen helping out in various ministries on campus.
Our History
The University is named after the founder of the Society of Mary, Father William Joseph Chaminade, a French, Catholic priest who survived the political turmoil and religious persecution of the French Revolution. Father Chaminade believed that the rebuilding of the Church in France in the aftermath of the French Revolution would best be accomplished by the engagement of the laity in small communities of faith, dedicated to prayer, education and acts of service to the larger community.
In 1849, members of the Society of Mary came to the United States to help immigrant populations. As an outgrowth of their ministry, they founded first what grew to be the University of Dayton and, shortly thereafter, what became St. Mary’s University of San Antonio. In September of 1883, eight Marianists arrived in Honolulu and assumed the leadership of what is now St. Louis School. After many years of encouragement by the alumni of St. Louis, the decision was made by the Marianists to establish a Catholic college in Honolulu and, as a consequence, St. Louis Junior College opened in 1955. In 1957, the college became a four-year coeducational institution and the name was changed to Chaminade College. Chaminade expanded its services to the community in 1967 with the establishment of an evening session to serve adults with business, family and military responsibilities who desired to pursue a college degree. In 1977 Chaminade added graduate programs and the name was changed to Chaminade University of Honolulu.

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