By Paul Dobbyn
“WE are named for St Leo the Great, I look forward to leading us to living up to his challenge and to becoming again part of this great commitment. Gentlemen, May 5 can’t come soon enough.”
St Leo’s incoming rector Steve Foley with these words concluded his speech at the university college’s first academic formal dinner for 2014.
The March 18 dinner provided an opportunity to welcome Mr Foley as the college’s incoming leader and farewell Christian Brother Vince Skelly who had led the college since 2004 until retiring last December.
The dinner also farewelled Jesuit Father Ian Howells, college chaplain for more than a decade, and welcomed Fr Augustine Obi who will be Catholic chaplain to the University of Queensland and St Leo’s and Duchesne colleges.
Mr Foley hails from Toowoomba, where he attended Downlands College. He is also a graduate of UQ.
He was vice-rector of St Leo’s College for three years, 2009-11.
He came to St Leo’s from the International School in Hong Kong with wife Laura and daughters, Mia and Imogen.
At the academic dinner, he said it was “a privilege and honour” to return to St Leo’s after his time at the Australian National University as head and chief executive officer of John XXIII College.
“In fact I stood at this very spot on February 28, 2012, a little over two years ago, to bid farewell to the college after starting here as vice-rector (for) students in 2009,” he said.
Mr Foley said he looked forward “to getting to know each of the 215 residents who call St Leo’s home when I commence in this role in early May”.
“In much the same way as Brother Vince’s door was always open; mine too will never be shut,” he said.
“To the young men of St Leo’s I say, you couldn’t have come to a better university and nor could you have come to a better residential college.”