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Felician University’s Lenke Family Center for Innovation

The Franciscan value of Transformation — the process that encourages an open mind and heart — is at the core of an exciting new center for Felician University students.

Felician University’s Lenke Family Center for Innovation (CFI) was created to provide students a space to collaborate with entrepreneurs and industry experts and offer real-world, real-time opportunities for market advancements. Acknowledging the role faith and providential guidance plays in human inspiration, a blessing ceremony was held to anoint the center for prosperity.

Felician Chaplain, Fr. Thomas Ruekert, SDB, prayed, “We ask you to send your Holy Spirit upon this Center, fill the students, the staff and all involved with your wisdom and blessings. May the work they do be transformative, innovative, and invigorating.”

The Center, an arm of the School of Business and Information Sciences and Center for Innovation and Professional Studies, will be a think tank that evaluates, synthesizes, and influences innovative market advancements. Speaking at the Blessing, CFI’s Executive Director, Professor Joseph Lizza, CPA, CGMA, MBA, said, “Innovation in its simplest form is change, change for the better. Whether this be a single change in a product, in a process, or even in a mindset, innovation is looking beyond the charted to the uncharted, to have the courage to try, the fortitude to persevere and the resilience to use failure as the lesson learned.”

Felician University freshman Katie Kaye thanked the Lenke family and her professors, saying, “Honestly this could not have been done without them. This has been an amazing opportunity. I am not even through my first full semester, and I’ve already had an amazing experience.”

The San Damiano or Franciscan Cross, was also blessed at the ceremony, with Sr. M Annelle Velivis, CSSF, PhD, saying, “We thought it was extremely important that we bless this room, the San Damiano crucifix, and also those who are the leaders, teachers and students in this Center.”

Sr. M Aquinas Szott, CSSF, PhD, said, “This is something that Felician University is all about. We are hoping to enable and empower all of our students to become leaders wherever life and the world takes them.”