New Dean of Students for 2013-2014

Fr. Khien Moves on - Fr. Bang steps in

For the first time in eight years, Divine Word College will have a new resident in the
Fr. Khien Luu, SVD
Fr. Bang Tran, SVD
corner office on the first-floor student wing. Fr. Khien Luu, SVD, returned to his alma mater in August, 2005 to occupy that office as dean of students. On June 30, he will officially leave his position to go on sabbatical and await reassignment. On July 1, another graduate of DWC, Fr. Bang Tran, SVD—who has been the college chaplain for the last two years—will become the new dean of students.
“I have been in formation for more than half of my ministry life and God called me here,” Fr. Khien said, noting that the job is challenging, but also rewarding. “I can see a lot of goodness in all the students and I can see the growth of each individual, year after year. I think that's the best part of being the dean.”
Born in Vietnam, Fr. Khien escaped to Thailand in 1980 and immigrated to the U.S. six months later. He enrolled in DWC in 1982 and graduated in 1986. After gaining missionary experience in an African-American parish in Trenton, New Jersey, he was ordained in 1992 and assigned to Australia to minister among Vietnamese populations in Sydney and work with SVDs in temporary vows, in Melbourne. Six years later, he returned to Vietnam to do formation work among new SVDs, a difficult job because he had escaped the country and then returned. He was allowed in on a Tourist Visa, but under the watchful eye of government officials. In 2005, Fr. Khien was asked to return to DWC, as dean of students.
Fr. Bang brings considerable mission and multicultural experience to the job. He was born in Vietnam and came to this country when he was 13. After enrolling in DWC in 1987, he went to Japan for a year to study at Nanzan University. Before he was ordained, he went to Paraguay for two years for his Cross-cultural Training Program (CTP). Ordained in 2000, he traveled to Montreal and Paris to study French, and spent one year at DWC as a vocation director, before going on mission to Togo for seven years.
“Being a student here will help me to understand what the students are going through,” Fr. Bang said of his new assignment as dean. “We train students to be future missionaries, so my experience will help me to walk with the them through their discernment.”
Dean of students is a difficult job, Fr. Khien said, because you are sometimes caught between the pressures and demands of the administration, faculty and staff and the challenges, needs and concerns of the students.
“My philosophy is to be patient with others and be a good, ethical person,” he said. “Somehow, God has called us here at this time. God has given us this environment, this place to stay and to grow in the future.”