DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > The Shared Coin: A token both of mission and encouragement
By Joyana Dvorak /
March 3, 2023 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
In celebration of DePaul University's 125th anniversary, the Division of Mission and Ministry started a practice called The Shared Coin on
Foundation Day, Jan. 25. This provides DePaul students, faculty, and staff with an opportunity to recognize, by sharing a coin, individuals who are living out the university's Vincentian mission.
Along with the coin, a giver is encouraged to write a message to the person being acknowledged, further personalizing the experience.
The Shared Coin is modeled after St. Vincent de Paul's metaphor of the scarred coin, which represented the individuals he served, their inherent dignity and the investment he made into honoring and uplifting that dignity.
The inspiration for this project began last summer while Courtney James, director of the Office of Student Involvement, was on the Vincentian Heritage Tour of France.
"I had the opportunity to purchase coins from St. Vincent's birthplace in France, and I decided to share them with colleagues back in Chicago at moments when I particularly saw them living the Vincentian mission," James says. "Distributing the coins with the connection to the mission was so well received that I shared the stories with my colleagues in Mission and Ministry. Together with Joyana Dvorak and Tom Judge, we worked to bring the project to life as a collaboration between OSI and Mission and Ministry."
President Rob Manuel brought the idea to a larger audience at his
Designing DePaul address on Jan. 26, when he handed some of the first coins to Interim Associate Provost Valerie Johnson and Faculty Council President Sonia Soltero to recognize their commitment to DePaul's mission.
Any DePaul student, faculty or staff member can go to the Mission and Ministry distribution location on each campus and request coins to share with those they have seen living DePaul's mission. Since the launch in January, coins have been passed at student government meetings, at faculty and staff gatherings, and in one-on-one settings of students, faculty and staff. Often the response from recipients has been joy that their good work and commitment have been seen and appreciated.
"It's been great to see how this simple idea has already started to spread the mission," James says.
A recipient of a coin is free to keep it or to pass it on when seeing someone else living the mission in a meaningful way.
Coins are available in limited quantities; once the supply is depleted, more will not become available until the following year. Mission and Ministry intends to release a new coin each year.
Pick-up locations are:
Lincoln Park Campus: Division of Mission and Ministry (2250 N. Sheffield Ave.), Student Center, Suite 311, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Loop Campus: Division of Mission and Ministry, Daley Building (14 E. Jackson Blvd.), Suite 800, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This is a special way for everyone in the university to pause, look around and recognize the many gifts at DePaul. For more information, visit
The Shared Coin Tradition website.
Joyana Dvorak is associate director for student engagement and mission integration in the Vincentian Service and Formation Office.