Regis to host Mission Priority Examen visit

The Mission Priority Examen (MPE) is a discernment process for the university's future, to draw upon the Jesuit principle of learning in conversation with each other. Regis University began this process with listening sessions and a self-study in 2021 and, following the presidential transition, has completed its formal report. Framed by the question, “What are we doing now so that in 20 years Regis will thrive as a vibrant Jesuit Catholic University?the self-study details how colleagues across the university responded to that question.

On Sept. 27-28, Regis will host a visiting team from peer Jesuit institutions to learn about what we are doing and how we might continue to grow in mission. Based on the input they receive while meeting with members of the Regis community, they will prepare a report for the Jesuit Provincial and the Superior General of the Society of Jesus in Rome. It’s important for the visiting team to hear from as many voices as possible about our concrete experience of Regis and its mission. There will be multiple opportunities to meet with the visiting team on Sept. 27 and 28; please consider attending one of these sessions.



Fr. Kevin Burke, SJ

Vice President for Mission

Regis University


Mission Priority Examen Visiting Team:

sebastian-342x226.jpgJohn T. Sebastian, Ph.D., Chair

Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Loyola Marymount University

John T. Sebastian, Ph.D., serves as the vice president for mission and ministry at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He previously served as vice president for mission and ministry at Loyola University New Orleans.

As the chief mission officer at Loyola New Orleans, Sebastian developed and executed their mission and ministry strategic plan, served on the President’s Cabinet and other leadership committees, participated in an effort to build a Jesuit center, introduced an Ignatian Faculty Fellows Program, and worked collaboratively with the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He also served as inaugural director of the Common Curriculum, director of their Medieval Studies Program, and deputy director of Honors. He began his academic career at Loyola New Orleans in 2004 as a member of their English Department.

Sebastian earned his Ph.D. in medieval studies from Cornell University. He has a master’s degree in medieval studies from Cornell and an M.A. in English from Georgetown University, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in English and medieval studies. He is an expert on Middle English literature, especially religious drama, devotional poetry, and mystical writing. He has written about and taught courses on Anglo-Saxon England and Old English literature, Chaucer, Ignatian pedagogy and education, medieval women writers, and Old Norse literature and the Vikings.

Sebastian grew up in Nutley, New Jersey. He met his wife, Heather Mack, on a silent Ignatian retreat.


graham-287x287.jpgRev. Michael J. Graham, S.J.

AJCU Senior Advisor for Trustee Formation Programs

Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J. serves AJCU as a senior advisor for formation programs. Immediately prior to this role, he spent twenty years as president of Xavier University in Cincinnati. Fr. Graham first came to Xavier in 1984 as part of his early Jesuit training and returned in 1989 after his ordination. In 1994, he became a tenured Associate Professor in the History Department; later that year, he was invited by then-President Rev. James E. Hoff, S.J. to lead the University’s Development Office, which he did for five years. After serving as an “executive understudy” to Fr. Hoff for a year, Fr. Graham became Xavier’s President on January 1, 2001. He retired from that position on June 30, 2021.

Fr. Graham’s passion for the specifically Jesuit mission of Xavier animated his presidency in multiple ways. He collaborated with a variety of professionals in the area of Jesuit mission and identity to shape and support Xavier’s Jesuit ethos and heart with faculty, staff and students. Fr. Graham helped found a campus center for dialogue that became a crucial hub for inter-religious conversation in the Cincinnati region, and whose work engaged a wide variety of constituencies and topics in areas of justice, sustainability, and immigration, among others. He likewise championed diversity, inclusion and equity efforts on and off campus, and helped recruit transformative leadership to embed that work firmly within the fabric of the University. His engagement in the local Cincinnati community through United Way, the Cincinnati Police Partnering Center, the Cincinnati Preschool Promise and other organizations set an example for the University and its people to consider their own relationships to the local community and find multiple ways to become engaged, both for the community’s benefit and for student learning and faculty work.

In his retirement from serving as president of Xavier, Fr. Graham looks forward to expanded opportunities for pastoral ministry, especially through various retreats at the Midwest Jesuit Province network of retreat houses, and to assisting Jesuit university trustees and senior executives better understand the Jesuit mission and identity of their schools so as to lead them more effectively and in fidelity to their origins.

A native of Cedar Rapids, IA, Fr. Graham holds degrees from Cornell College, the University of Michigan, and the Weston School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry). He entered the Society of Jesus in 1978 and was ordained in 1988.


murray-290x290.jpgMichele C. Murray, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for Student Development and Mission

College of the Holy Cross

Dr. Michele Murray provides leadership for integrating students’ intellectual, spiritual, and emotional development, delivering excellent services and programs for all students, and translating the College’s vibrant Jesuit Catholic mission for today’s audience. Dr. Murray has served on several executive boards, including as current president of the Jesuit Association for Student Personnel Administrators. She co-authored Helping College Students Find Purpose: The Campus Guide to Meaning Making, and also Teaching College Students Communication Strategies for Effective Social Justice Advocacy, and numerous chapters and articles about Ignatian spirituality and meaning-making. Dr. Murray has dedicated her professional life to Jesuit higher education, with previous roles at Seattle University and Loyola Maryland.

Dr. Murray has served in Jesuit higher education for the last 27 years. Since 2006, she has served as vice president of the Division of Student Development at the Jesuit-sponsored Seattle University. In Seattle, Murray served as a member of the faculty, where she taught undergraduate and graduate classes in leadership and student development. Before moving to Seattle, Murray worked as director of leadership and new student programs at Loyola College in Maryland from 1998 to 2006 and as assistant director of student activities from 1996 to 1998. Murray also received a Ph.D. in education policy and leadership in higher education from the University of Maryland. 

Prior to starting a career in Jesuit education, she held roles in residential life and multicultural affairs at the University of Vermont and served as director of external affairs for the Oakcrest School for Girls in Washington, D.C. She has served on the executive boards of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Center for Women. In addition to her doctorate, Murray holds a B.A. in rhetoric and communication studies and psychology from the University of Virginia and a M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont.


klos-340x244.pngNaomi Yavneh-Klos, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Languages and Cultures

Loyola University New Orleans

Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D. is the Reverend Emmett M. Bienvenu, SJ, Distinguished Chair in Humanities, and Professor and Co-Chair of Languages and Cultures at Loyola University New Orleans. From 2011 until 2018, Dr. Yavneh Klos was the Director of Loyola’s University Honors Program, where she led the creation of a curriculum emphasizing social justice and diversity learning outcomes. A leader in honors education nationally and internationally, she is a former member of the executive board and past president of the National Collegiate Honors Council and chair of the AJCU honors consortium.  Since 2017, Dr. Yavneh Klos has collaborated with Windesheim Honours College, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and Memorial Camp Westerbork, all in the Netherlands, on an annual, multi-week instituted focused on Holocaust memory.  In 2020, Dr. Yavneh Klos was a Fulbright Scholar at Windesheim, where she taught “Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion” and conducted research for her current book project.  “In Quarantine with Anne Frank: Lessons of Empathy and Compassion in a Time of Anxiety, Intolerance and Hate” explores how understanding the nuances of Anne’s story in the larger context of the Holocaust can guide us in addressing contemporary challenges of prejudice and systemic racism.

Dr. Yavneh Klos received her A.B. from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, all in Comparative Literature with an emphasis in Italian Renaissance Studies. The author of numerous articles on gender and spirituality in the representation of both the virginal and the maternal body in Renaissance Italy, as well as three award-winning essay collections on gender in the early modern world, she is a former president and board member of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

The founding chair of the Council of Undergraduate Research’s Arts and Humanities division, the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and former Associate Dean of the Honors College at the University of South Florida, Dr. Yavneh is committed to high impact practices that contribute to retention, graduation, and community, and is an innovator in interdisciplinary and community-engaged research, and the pedagogy of justice. She is a member of the steering committee of the AJCU “Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education” conference. In December, 2018, she traveled to Israel as a Fellow under the auspices of Media Watch International and the Jewish National Fund, where she was able to develop collaborations with educators at the University of Haifa and Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.