A Message from President Aceves

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, I mentioned the importance of new students and student retention as critical elements of a thriving campus community. I also shared that we are beginning to see early signs of enrollment stabilization, especially regarding new students. This past weekend we witnessed how the admissions strategy perfectly aligned with Regis’ relational culture. More than 500 students and guests spent the day learning about a values-based Jesuit Catholic education. I asked Cassandra Grady, dean of enrollment services and chair of the Super Saturday event, to reflect on the day as potential students and their families experienced Regis in the most authentic and caring way:

“Dr. Senthil Kumar’s past Super Saturdays events felt like a fantasy. So after months of preparation leading up to Regis’ inaugural summer event, the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) staff left breakfast in Clarke Hall with excitement and a bit of anxiety and concern – we wanted this event to go off without a hitch. The concerns quickly faded as families started arriving half an hour before the posted start of the event.

In SEM, we often discuss the true goal of admissions: offering students a life-changing opportunity. Ask anyone who has received a college education, and you will hear that university is a time when young adults are introduced to the world intellectually and culturally. Naturally, this means that a four-year commitment to Regis University is an involved process and one which we are proud to pursue. The admissions and financial aid counselors who have worked with these students for over a year had the great pleasure of meeting them and their families and celebrating the hard work on behalf of both students and SEM teammates. The beauty of Super Saturday is simple: Regis University representatives, from the president to admissions counselors and every department in between, meet the students whose lives will be changed through a Jesuit Catholic education proctored by our institution. More so, this weekend’s event provided a space for these students to begin finding their home at Regis University.

It is difficult to select a single highlight but one student truly stood out. After games, music, food trucks, and raffling off over $15,000 in eye-catching prizes from our community and partners, an excited quiet fell across the reception tent at the end of the day. One question consumed the minds of every person focused on the stage where President Aceves stood: Who here today will win the “Golden Ticket”? More on that in a moment.

During Super Saturday, students at any stage of the committal process were welcome to complete all application and admission steps to start classes in the fall and join us for the enrolled students’ reception. After our welcome in the Chapel led by Kristine Bureau, SEM chief of  staff, students were blessed by Rev. Eustace Sequeira, S.J., and sent on a mission across campus to experience Regis and document their journey by collecting stamps on their Super Saturday “passports.” By following tasks such as introducing themselves to academic deans, interviewing student ambassadors about on-campus clubs, high-fiving a financial aid counselor, and – arguably the most difficult – finding Dr. Kumar and sharing their reasons for choosing Regis, students certified their completed passports with SEM staff and deposited their golden tickets into the raffle cage. Each student entered their tickets with great hope – per the reveal and rules read by J.T. Smith, dean of admissions and Catherine Rohde, director of financial aid planning at the start of the day, this golden ticket promised to cover the balance remaining between existing financial aid and tuition. A full ride, in other words.

President Aceves stirred the raffle cage then Cindy Hejl, dean of financial aid, called out, “We have a winner!” The crowd went wild. With tears, President Aceves and Dr. Kumar congratulated a first-generation student and her family. The crowd couldn’t contain their emotions as congratulations poured out for this family.

So how was our inaugural Super Saturday? If you ask us, this event was an unabashed success. There are few times in one’s life that we can witness such immense, powerful motions for change. This team has not been shy about how proud we are of the incoming class of 2027, the class – currently sitting at 562 deposited students – who will graduate on Regis’ 150th anniversary, and this event stood as a testament to their great tenacity and strength. Thank you immensely to my team and everyone who made this day a fantastic success!”

I want to thank the Regis members who participated in the day’s events. Your presence was deeply appreciated. I also want to thank Dr. Kumar and his inspiring team, who organized a remarkable event in partnership with many campus units. In conversation with parents and their children, I was pleased to learn about their desire and commitment to a faith-based education. This sentiment aligns with a significant increase in the number of first-year students expected to join us this fall from Catholic high schools.



Salvador D. Aceves, Ed.D.