Examining “Caritas Veritas and the Examined Life”

By Rudy Soto

September 18, 2013

At Dominican, the motto Caritas et Veritas provides an atmosphere for deep contemplation, an opportunity that may not be as prevalent once students venture into their futures. 

Caritas et Veritas is a part of Dominican University that has withstood the test of time, describing the qualities that the university hopes to instill in every student who will walk across the stage and receive a diploma that bears the name of Dominican University. 

2013 marks the fourth year that the Caritas Veritas Symposium will occur at Dominican. This year’s symposium is sure to be full of thought-provoking presentations as it delves into examining how caritas and veritas should be incorporated into a life of meaning and contemplation.

Claire Noonan, vice president for mission and ministry, has been happy with how successful the previous Caritas Veritas Symposiums have been.

“The program has been so well received by the university community and fits so well into the academic calendar that we see it continuing into the foreseeable future,” Noonan said.

Noonan expects the goals for the day to be clearly defined through each of the presenters’ sessions.

I hope the entire Dominican community comes to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of our shared mission and that we build a stronger, more loving and more truthful community,” Noonan said.

For students that have attended one or more symposiums in the past, this year’s edition will bring some new elements that have not previously been covered.

“One notable change to the program is the inclusion of a number of experiential workshops among our presentations,” she said.  “We will also have a series of presentations called ‘Dominican Debates.’”

There will be around 40 sessions, including panel presentations, round-table discussions, papers, workshops, debates and even a dance to be performed in public areas on campus during presentation intermissions.

The topics to be discussed are so revered by the institution that they garner a full day off from classes in observance of the symposium.  The overarching themes that the day hopes to inspire its attendees with are questions of being and becoming, meaning and calling; all of which are important topics to consider for students as they begin to embark on their journey out into the world.

The one universal portion of the planned events for the day is that it will start with a plenary session, headlined by keynote speaker Professor Chad Rohman.  

Professor Rohman will set the tone for the events to follow as he places the crowd in the right frame of mind to fully grasp the content of the presentations they will hear throughout the day. 

“I really want to stress the importance of stopping and reflecting on the world around us,” Rohman said.  “There aren’t many times in our busy world today where we get an opportunity to slow down and reflect on who we are and how we live.”

Professor Rohman plans on emphasizing the idea of living the motto of Caritas Veritas instead of just preaching it.        

“My goal is to make the students, faculty, and staff examine the idea of living with truth and compassion,” he said. “Often times we hear the motto, but we need to make sure we live it too.”

Students are encouraged to attend multiple sessions as well as the morning Plenary Session at 9 a.m. and the Academic Convocation at 3:15 p.m.