ND's Peer Counseling program turns into life-long passion for Lennon '95
Craig Lennon ‘95 - Dean of Students (University of Bridgeport)
B.A. in Communication; Secondary Education (Stonehill College)
M.S. in Education Leadership (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
While at Notre Dame, Craig Lennon ‘95 discovered a passion for being a mentor. Today, Lennon is the Dean of Students at the University of Bridgeport, where he leads a division of student affairs including housing and residential life, counseling services, and the new Department for Multicultural Affairs.
“The one thing I knew when I was a student at ND, was that I wanted to help people,” Lennon reminisced. During his days as a Green Knight, he served as a Peer Counselor, was a member of the soccer team and chorus, and was elected as the class president.
“What I really enjoy about working at UB and in the Student Affairs Office, is that everything I love to do and all of my previous experiences come together.”
Prior to his role at the University of Bridgeport, Lennon worked with high school dropouts at Grafton Job Corps and as a youth treatment specialist in a group home.
While earning his graduate degree in Education Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he worked with Student Leadership Development and Diversity Initiatives.
“I liked the possibility of working on a college campus, and I knew I wanted to work with students. By then, I really felt like there was no looking back for me,” laughed Lennon.
Lennon advises both his students and current ND students to work hard and focus in the classroom, but highlights that learning experiences extend far beyond school grounds.
“Be open to opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and in the world,” he explained. “Many people miss these everyday opportunities, but they will help you grow as a person. You never know what you might learn just by talking to the person sitting next to you on the plane.”
Former Principal, Mr. Patrick Clifford '75, had a remarkable impact on Lennon. Clifford's guidance changed Lennon's attitude on education and helped set him down the right path. “Mr. Clifford saved my life. He helped instill a belief in me to get more involved.” he continued. "Every student I help, Mr. Clifford has helped too.”
Lennon remembers learning and living the Notre Dame Code, and recalls the way the faculty personified those values. “As a teacher, you never really know the true impact you have on your students. For folks like that, I really wish I could thank them.”