Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Global Village and a New Acadmic Year
It is the beginning of a new school year and already it is exciting. Today we had the dedication and blessing of our new residence hall, Clare Hall. The building is a green or earth-friendly building. It connects to Bonzel Hall. Bonzel is named after the foundress of the order that sponsors our school, the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. The wall connecting the two buildings has a wonderful statue of Mother Bonzel.
Part of our tradition of dedicating new buildings is to identify a local community need and assist. This year we are involved with Habitat for Humanity. We will be making a house for one family during October and November. That is pretty exciting. Today the gifts that were collected for house-warming presents were blessed. That included a washer and dryer. Many of our students who participated in Workfest plan on assisting with this project.
The theme for our first year experience students is “Global Village.” Our goal is to connect them to one another, the campus community and the world community. Well, it is a great theme. It is easy to incorporate world music and art. It is easy to connect the theme to their areas of study. Global warming, poverty, sociology, medical care, communication, you name it, it fits with the theme. Best of all, the students see the connect.
We are a small campus. We do not have the diversity of larger school. Still, the Global Village is alive and well here. A past graduate has been to Haiti three times for mission trips.
We have a graduate serving in the Peace Corp. in Kazakhstan. She recently moved from the desert to the Siberian section of the country. She writes and blogs regularly. We are very proud of her.
Our department has a student from Malaysia. She is teaching us all about Ramadan. She will make a great counselor, her area of study. By the time she leaves our school she will have touched many lives here.
We are planning two mission trips this spring. One to Eastern Kentucky with Christian Appalachian Project. This will be our third year working in the hills and hollows building homes.
The other trip is new. It is an urban ministry trip to Chicago. We will be working with Emmaus Ministries.
This does not even take into account our science trips to the Bahamas, Appalachia or the South West. It also does not take into account the business trips to Asia, the art trips to Europe or the language trips to Central America.
All and all it has been an exciting beginning for the academic year. Our students will have many opportunities to impact others and to learn how the world impacts them. They will learn that they have the power, for good or bad, to transform the world and to be transformed by it. Now that is the basis of an education for living.
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