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The Dominican University community gathered Sept. 19 for the 14th annual Caritas Veritas Symposium and Academic Convocation.

The day, which included 25 sessions for faculty, staff and students based around a theme of interconnectedness, began with the Convocation and presentation of distinguished awards.

Dr. José Blanco F., professor of fashion, was the recipient of the Sr. Mary Clemente Davlin, OP Diversity Leadership Award, and the Collegium Visionary Award was presented to Dr. Loreto Peter Alonzi, professor emeritus of economics.

The Davlin Award, presented by the Office for Justice, Equity and Inclusion, recognizes a faculty or staff member whose teaching and service embodies building anti-racist and equitable practices, and who demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Blanco noted there were concerns that recipients of the Davlin Award might only be seen for this kind of work — when there are many other contributions they bring to the table.

“Minoritized individuals are also excellent instructors, perfection-obsessed researchers, careful staff planners and many other things we are often not acknowledged for,” he said.

Such an award, Blanco added, should not be needed if the entire community is engaged in the same work.

“Everyone should be equally invested in equity and social justice to the point that it will be impossible to give an award to just one person,” he said. 

The Collegium Visionary Award recognizes summer colloquy participants who have engaged in leadership to promote the Catholic mission, scholarship advancing Catholic intellectual tradition, and innovative teaching.

Dr. Loreto Peter Alonzi was a professor at Dominican for 22 years until his retirement in 2021. He was described as a “key member” of every Caritas Veritas planning event in the symposium’s  14-year history and was credited with creating the Brennan School of Business’ MBA Gateway Practicum. He is a two-time alum of Collegium, which was created to help Catholic college faculty better understand the mission of Catholic higher education and advance that mission in creative ways.

“Collegium deepened my understanding and sharpened the focus of my work,” Alonzi said.  "This recognition is for the DU community. It is for my friends I knew before coming to DU. It is for my family, especially my wife, my life partner, Mary.”

Also receiving a special honor at Caritas Veritas was Homeboy Industries, which was presented with the Bradford-O’Neill Medallion.

Homeboy Industries is a gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program founded by Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ, who will be speaking at Dominican on Dec. 5 as part the Siena Center series of programs.

The Caritas Veritas Academic Convocation also included an invocation by Ingrid Bustos ’25, a spoken word address by Charles Allen of BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) Inc. of Chicago, and songs of praise by Deborah Wright-Powell of Our Lady of Africa parish.

Dr. José Blanco F., center, with Dominican University President Dr. Glena G. Temple, left, and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Precious Porras.
Dr. Loreto Peter Alonzi.