The Scholars' Journal

Summary of Annual Meeting

Here are a few points made by President Jane Gerety, RSM, in her luncheon address:

Thank you for your support and encouragement of the Salve Regina University Circle of Scholars program. We value our 20-year history, we value our members, and we look forward to building on the success of the program long into the future. Lifelong learning is a critical component of Salve Regina's mission and the Circle of Scholars is, we feel, lifelong learning at its best.

It has been a somewhat bumpy year ... and along with your support, we thank you for your patience. To clear up any confusion:

  • The University will continue to operate the Salve Regina Circle of Scholars as it has done for the past 20 years, with the majority of courses offered on campus at this time.
  • A group of local individuals formerly associated with the University's program have now started their own program with classes at the Edward King House separate from Salve Regina. (Note: We have learned that the program is being called Newport Circle of Scholars. This program is not related in any way to Salve Regina Circle of Scholars.)
  • The name "Circle of Scholars" is used frequently by many institutions in reference to both undergraduate and lifelong learning programs – thus there can be (and is) more than one program with this name.
  • In order to avoid further confusion, please remember that all communication involving Salve Regina's program will have both the Circle of Scholars and University logos and will be sent from an email address with "" on it. We are the Salve Regina University Circle of Scholars program.

Moving forward, we are excited about upcoming semesters and are looking to also engage new community partners in developing programs or opportunities for our Circle members. Salve Regina is a vibrant community and the Circle of Scholars is a key component of its success.

Business Meeting Review

  • Minutes from 2013 annual meeting accepted
  • Financial report
  • Year-end summaries of membership, instructors and courses
  • Survey results (310 respondents)
  • Votes were tallied and accepted for interim executive committee 
  • Acknowledged: volunteers, curriculum committee and new officers  

Attendance Policy

In order to accommodate our membership needs, all members are asked to enroll in at least one seminar during the course of the academic year. 

Message from the Circle of Scholars President

As the summer of 2014 is underway, we are pleased to say our Salve Regina University Circle of Scholars program is as well. Over the past few weeks, I have met with our interim executive board: Bob Silvestre, vice president; Dianne Grinnell, secretary; Mary Edwards, curriculum committee chairwoman; Kristine Hendrickson, associate vice president for university relations; and Christine Nolan, coordinator.

We were so energized and encouraged by your support and attendance (350) at the annual business meeting and luncheon in May. Your gratitude and enthusiasm has paved the way for our upcoming year and future endeavors. The membership renewals and the submission of new proposals for the fall offerings have us on our way. We are working on communication improvements to enhance our Circle of Scholars program in 2014-2015 and look forward to many thoughtful discussions about your survey comments.

All members will receive the fall 2014 course offerings and registration in late August. Our hope is to deliver updates on our ongoing progress in your next newsletter.

This is your Circle; remember it never retires.

Kate Dempsey
President, Salve Regina University Circle of Scholars

Circle of Scholars Survey Snapshot

Which topics interest you the most? 22 percent are interested in history, 17 percent are interested in international affairs, and 13 percent are interested in literature and art.

Which of the following additional topics/activities generate your interest? 30 percent are interested in Circle excursions, 20 percent are interested in discussion groups, and 15 percent are interested in book club.

On a scale from 1-3 how satisfied are you with the course offerings available? 80 percent are satisfied, 15 percent are neutral, and 5 percent are dissatisfied.

Would you be interested in attending a late spring or summer seminar? 75 percent were interested in a late spring or summer seminar.

Would you prefer an online registration option for the Circle of Scholars? 57 percent said that they would prefer an online registration option.

In what areas do you feel improvement is needed? 37 percent said parking, 25 percent said course selections, and 18 percent said communication.

Semester News

The fall semester is shaping up with a wide variety of seminars from which to choose. In addition to many of our favorite returning instructors, we are pleased to introduce several new instructors who offer an array of interesting topics, including:
  • Argentina, Brazil and Chile: Three Democracies in the Southern Cone
  • The Trial of a Criminal Case
  • The English Country House: Downton Abbey in Context
  • Rhode Island General Election 2014
  • Christian Feminism: Calling or Curse