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Maher-CardinalWestern New York Catholic offers a report of the meeting between Fr. Jim Maher, President of Niagara Univiersity and  Vietnamese Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man.

The story begins  “Niagara University’s new president has hit the ground running, all the way to Vietnam.  Since taking office last August, Father James Maher, CM, has taken the first steps to opening the school to students and educators from Asia.

Father Maher, the 26th president of the Vincentian institution, has made his first priority to establish a worldwide presence for NU. In July, he traveled to Vietnam, South Korea and Thailand, to conduct a listening tour with prospective partners.

He returned to Vietnam and South Korea in November to sign international memorandums of understanding bonding the good will between NU and six institutes of higher learning – Hanoi College of Tourism, Vietnam; Vietnam University of Commerce; Catholic University of Korea; Kyung Hee University, South Korea; Myongii University, South Korea; and Sogang University, South Korea. Father Maher sees Turkey as another viable prospect.

“We’re creating partnerships,” he said. “One of the initiatives that we’re undertaking at Niagara is the beginning of an intentional effort to recruit international students to Niagara. We think Niagara has a great experience to offer all students, but particularly international students because of the pretty campus, the people of Western New York. There’s a warmth and a welcoming spirit within the general culture of Western New York.”

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The story concludes “He reiterates the commitment to Niagara Falls that his predecessor Father Joseph L. Levesque, CM, pledged 14 years ago in his inaugural address.

“We have a great opportunity with the grant that we received through the New York Power Authority, the Global Tourism Institute, to begin to contribute in a very significant way to the revitalization economically and socially of the city of Niagara Falls.  If you want to know what I think a Vincentian University does, that’s what it does.  It contributes not only to the knowledge to the graduates and the contribution that they make, but also to the larger region and in a particular way to the poor.”

The veteran of 11 New York City marathons is organizing a 3-mile run in April to raise money for Heart, Love and Soul, a local food pantry and dining room.”