The Dominican Influence

The centuries-old Dominican tradition of pursuing the truth, while being compassionately involved in the community, and taking time for reflection is pervasive on the Dominican University campus. 

That intellectual tradition was foreseen by St. Dominic’s mother in a dream she had before his birth in 1170 in which a dog with a burning torch in its mouth was racing around the globe. Since the founding of the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans, in 1216, men and women in the Order have interpreted that dream as a burning search for truth, aglow with compassion, and a desire to set the world afire by preaching and reaching out to people in need.

On the Orangeburg campus of Dominican University, the Dominican influence promotes an educational environment where faculty and administrators are committed to a way of learning that brings students to the truth. Dominican University students receive a strong liberal arts foundation that allows them to think critically, in a small, supportive, classroom setting with an average student-faculty ratio of 15:1. Dominican University students are acutely aware that they have something to contribute to the world around them. They learn to effectively understand the needs of others and how to meet those needs. This has led to a thriving commitment to social justice and  community service on campus.

The Dominican tradition of reflection translates into students being encouraged to take the time to think things through so that they make good decisions. This allows students to make the most of their opportunity at Dominican University to learn and to grow in knowledge and understanding.

Some of our alumni who are now trustees or employees of the University tell us: What Does it Mean to Be Dominican?

Mary Ann Collins

Sr. Mary Ann Collins, O.P., ’68

Member, Board of Trustees

“Being Dominican brings to mind our founder Dominic whose passion was to preach God’s Word. 800 years ago Dominic walked up and down hills and roads joyfully proclaiming the liberating Word of God. Our world today is in need of this joyful presence. Am I a joyful proclaimer? Does my life reflect God’s Word? I pray that Dominic may enable me to preach God’s Word in all I do each day.”

Denise Marren 2015

Denise Marren, ’15

Financial Aid Data Specialist

“A balanced life is what being Dominican is all about. Prayer and trust in God guides and keeps one centered; looking at the bright side when overwhelmed maintains focus. Compassion for others at home, work, and society keeps one’s moral compass engaged, and personal growth is guided through continued education.”

ErinMarie Sullivan

Erin Sullivan, M.D., ’94

Member, Board of Trustees

“When I think of Dominican I think of Catherine of Siena and her quote, ‘be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’ Dominican nurtures and uniquely individualizes teachings so students learn who they are and what path they should lead.”

Jim Toolen, ’85

Member, Board of Trustees

“Being Dominican to me means... knowing I’m part of a community of graduates that has used our Dominican education and its values to better ourselves and those around us... traits that lead me to become a leader and giver in my community while realizing the professional success I had hoped for.”

Mary 1

Mary A. McHugh, ’89

Director, Alumni Relations

“Being Dominican is being part of a second family. Enjoying what you do, and enjoying the people you do it with, makes coming to work at Dominican every single day a pleasure. As a graduate, I have a network of peers and friends with whom I share a common bond that has become a part of who I am today.”

Katie Anderson, M.S., ’08

Freshmen Year Director and Coordinator of the Bridge Program

“Being Dominican means community. This was the reason I was attracted to the College as a student, and why I jumped at the chance when the opportunity arose to work here.  Being able to give back to the community that gave me so many great opportunities to grow and learn, was something I could not pass up. I have had the pleasure of working with the staff and faculty that welcomed me so wholeheartedly into their community as a student.  I want to provide new students with a similar experience to mine. I want them to know that I am available to be a support system for them, just as I had as a student.”


John Burke 7

John Burke, ’98

Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students

“Being Dominican is caring, supporting, and excelling with members of a close-knit community. It is a constant pursuit for personal growth and a concern for the global community.”