President’s Letter: Love of Learning

Dr. Jeffrey SeneseDear community,

One of the things I have enjoyed the most about being the father of two is the opportunity to see my children learn and grow over the years. I can remember the excitement on their faces when they first learned to walk, play soccer, and start reading. As they grew older, I marveled at how they took initiative in cultivating their own unique talents and abilities. From their time as infants, to their teenage years and every day as young adults, learning happened quickly and often. It was a central part of their lives.

There is something special about the way in which children learn that I think is important for us to hold on to as a society. Children possess an innate joy and love of learning and are not afraid to pursue an interest that excites them. Yes, they may face challenges on their journey and get discouraged. But when they fall down, they also get right back up, sometimes with a little help and encouragement from a loving parent.

At Saint Leo University, we have an insatiable love of learning, and we want our students to cultivate this love, too, for its many benefits. A relentless passion for learning leads to a richer and more fulfilling life with greater opportunities. We become more well-rounded individuals when we have an understanding of our history, our government, and theoretical principles whose applications have led to scientific and medical discoveries. We grow when we explore new ways of doing things or acquire new skills.

Our fall issue of Spirit Magazine delves into a few of the many examples of Saint Leo University faculty, students, and alumni who share a love of learning and express their enthusiasm in laudable ways. You’ll read about several Saint Leo alumni who have earned top honors for their work in education, as well as learn about a new partnership that is helping the university educate more people.

I hope these stories serve as inspiration for you to continue to make learning an integral part of your life. Some say that as we grow older, there is less we need to learn. I tend to disagree. I think as we progress through life, our responsibility for learning expands. The challenge lies in making it a priority in one’s life.

Peace and may God bless.


Jeffrey D. Senese, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese is Saint Leo University’s 10th president. He was named president in July 2018 after serving as the university’s first provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. Throughout his 30-year career in higher education, he held numerous academic leadership positions at colleges and universities across the nation. Senese earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Pennsylvania State University; a master’s degree in criminology from Indiana State University; and a doctoral degree in criminal justice/research methods/statistics from Michigan State University.

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