Project OPUS Begins Transition
New Interim Director Named for
McGreal Center in Joint Announcement
Janet Welsh, OP
RIVER FOREST, IL , July 12, 2006--- The continuing legacy of
the Order of Preachers in the United States is in good hands as
the Dominican Leadership Conference (DLC) and Dominican University,
jointly announce the appointment of Janet Welsh, OP, Ph.D, as
the new Interim Director of the McGreal Center for Dominican Historical
Studies. The Center is named in honor of Sister Mary Nona McGreal,
OP, former President of Edgewood College and Director of Project
OPUS since 1989. The McGreal Center will become the new home of
the work of Project OPUS.
In reflecting on the appointment, Janet recalled her University
of Notre Dame mentor, Jay Dolan, who said, “If you forget
your past you loose your future.” Janet continued, “This
is very significant at this time in the US for Dominicans, a critical
turning point, we need the story to be told for the sake of our
future, meaning the whole Family, friars, nuns, sisters and laity.”
The three year appointment is effective September 1st . During
this time, Janet will work with Sr. Nona McGreal, OP, and research
assistant Judy Miller, OP to prepare materials and documents that
will be housed at Dominican University.
Under the sponsorship of the Dominican Leadership Conference,
Project OPUS has taken the lead in documenting and gathering together
a comprehensive history of the Dominicans in the US since its
earliest days. In 2001 OPUS published the first of three volumes
about our Dominican family --- Dominicans at Home in a Young Nation:
to Donna Carroll, President of Dominican University, it will take
the next year or so to catalogue and relocate the OPUS collection.
"The university will provide space, affiliation and collaborative
opportunities that advance Dominican scholarship while enriching
our campus community. We anticipate that the McGreal Center will
be funded substantially by contributions from the extended Dominican
family.," said Carroll.
Janet formerly served at Dominican University as the Co-promoter
of mission integration and holds a doctorate in American History.
“I see the Center continuing the work of OPUS but extend
opportunities for other kinds of research about communities in
the US -- how they added to intellectual life in the US. I see
the McGreal Center as a place where students of women’s
history and social history could come and do new research. I can
see internationally comparative study as well,” Janet added.
The Center for Dominican Historical Studies will:
• Preserve and promote the history of Dominican men and
women in the United States.
• Ensure the continuation of the innovative research project
sponsored by Project OPUS
• Enhance the understanding of the Dominican charism for
the 21st century for the University community and members of the
Order of Preachers
• Provide the archival resources for faculty, students and
other researchers to study the theological, historical, sociological
and educational role of Dominicans in the Catholic Church and
the United States
• Facilitate research opportunities for publication by students,
faculty, and other scholars.
• Offer experiences in a working archive for graduate students
in the School of Library and Information Science, particularly
those who pursue advanced work in archival studies.
Help support the new center
The transition in creating this new Center for Dominican Historical
Studies will be a multi-year process. Budget and short/long term
funding strategies are being developed.
Dominican University is providing space and the DLC and DU are
building a partnership, the greatest area of need is ongoing financial
Building a healthy endowment is a long term goal. Our hope is
to have this endowment in place by 2012. We need to have a firm
financial base as this new and exciting partnership begins and
develops. To help us begin, please seriously consider making an
send donations to:
c/o Dominican Leadership Conference
7200 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60503