Coast-to-Coast Tour Goes Online
Dr. Jonathan Palmer’s Monthly Update: April 2010
The daffodils are up, and the grass has turned a brilliant shade of green as our campuses burst into bloom. Once spring arrives, it’s a short, fast ride to the end of the academic year. Commencements are just around the corner. Yet there is much to accomplish and enjoy before then.
With spring in the air, we are experimenting with a fresh, online approach to the Coast-to-Coast tour Head of School Marilyn Wallace and I launched more than 18 months ago. If you were not able to attend any of the 19 Coast-to-Coast events in person, I hope you’ll participate in one of two upcoming online presentations. Marilyn and I will share updates on the School and College and field your questions during these two live, interactive Web conferences. Join us on Sunday, April 25, from 7:30–9:00 p.m. CDT or Thursday, May 27, from 8:00–9:30 p.m. CDT. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection. Register at www.principia.edu/c2cweb/april.htm for the April 25 web event and www.principia.edu/c2cweb/may.htm for the May 27 web event.
Connecting with alumni, friends, and supporters of Principia is always inspiring and enlightening, and I look forward to making contact with as many of you as possible through these Web conferences as well as the May 1 Coast-to-Coast taking place in Boston. Digital connections may not have quite the same feel as in-person events, but we’re hoping this experiment allows Marilyn and me to interact with many more of you than would be possible face to face.
Meanwhile, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. Excitement is sky-high this weekend with major events taking place on both campuses. Students at the Upper School have finished weeks of intense rehearsal for this weekend’s production of the musical Good News. I’m looking forward to enjoying Saturday’s show, along with a group of Howard Society donors who are gathering for a reception that evening. And this weekend, the College is once again presenting its Public Affairs Conference (PAC), the oldest student-run conference of its type in the nation. This year’s topic is “The End of Oil? Energy Challenges in the 21st Century.”
Since I’m teaching the College’s Business Consulting Practicum class this term, I’m enjoying the opportunity to engage more deeply with a group of students on this topic of alternative energy. Our class is working with an outstanding client company, and I’m appreciating this chance to get back in the classroom and get to know our terrific students in a new way. They are an inspiring group of active learners and thinkers.
This is also Principia’s hiring season. We are working hard to identify and recruit the best possible faculty members and coaches. If you know strong, experienced Christian Science educators or coaches who are ready to help advance Principia, send them our way. You can view a complete list of job openings at www.principia.edu/jobs.
On April 23, we’ll join with Longyear Museum to open a yearlong exhibit in the College’s School of Government. The exhibit, “Imparting a fresh impulse: Preparing the next generation,” will feature photographic portraits of Mary Baker Eddy and 11 students from her last class of November 1898. Read more about this exhibit and the presentation on the lives of the early Christian Science pioneers.
Principia is also partnering with Town & Country, Missouri, where the School campus is located, to provide land for a local community garden, starting this spring. The city’s Green Team Commission is organizing the garden and will provide several dozen plots for organic vegetable gardens. Principia employees and families will garden alongside other local residents, all watering their crops from the adjacent firehouse. It will be fun to watch their gardens grow.
I hope some of you got to meet the talented College student-artists who traveled with Arts on Tour during spring break. More than 450 people attended the concerts in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay area. Dance performances and student artwork were also part of the program. Many thanks to the Principia Clubs who housed and hosted our students and chaperones.
I’m regularly overwhelmed with gratitude for the varied talents and abilities of our students, whether displayed during the arts tour, on the Ridgway Auditorium stage during this weekend’s Production, or throughout PAC preparations. However, I’m also reminded of Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan’s wise counsel regarding what is most important to emphasize at Principia: “Men strive for skill in all the arts,” she said in a commencement address to the graduating class of 1923. “Why not learn to live with skill?” (Education at The Principia, p. 161)
Learning to live with skill—now that’s an education worthy of all our efforts!