Dr. Palmer’s Update: May 2012
Spring is a time of gratitude and celebration at Principia. As our College seniors wrap up their capstone projects and Upper School seniors embark on experiential learning projects for the month of May, it is evident that great growth has been accomplished this year.
Since the College shifted to semesters, College commencement and Upper School graduation no longer fall on the same weekend in early June. Commencement will take place on May 12, and Upper School graduation is June 2. The speaker at the College is Janet Horton who served as a Christian Science Chaplain for 28 years, including two tours at the Pentagon where she prayed with casualties in the Pentagon courtyard on 9/11. If you are not able to attend, please join in the festivities by listening to either event live on Principia Internet Radio (PIR).
The College will be continuing the celebration of 100 years of higher education at Principia by introducing a President’s Forum to kick off Commencement Weekend. The inaugural forum will be held in the Chapel from 7:30–9:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 (also airing live on PIR). The event will feature three of our emeriti professors—Paula Bradley, Colin Campbell, and David Pfeifer—sharing insights, experiences, and inspiration from their combined 100-plus years at Principia. I know this will be an entertaining and inspiring evening and hope that the President’s Forum will become a new tradition during the College’s Commencement Weekend.
Beginning in mid-April and continuing through May, students in our Middle and Upper School classes are pushing back the classroom walls and learning through trips to New Mexico, Boston, Costa Rica, New York, and Washington, DC. These learning adventures are linked to the curriculum at each grade and give students the chance to apply what they have been learning all year. The opportunities for growth are exciting. As Middle School Director Alyssa Henn said of the recent eighth-grade trip to Costa Rica, “The students became scientists and grew as Christian Scientists in the field.”
During Memorial Day weekend, we are looking forward to hosting a DiscoveryBound Leadership Conference for 8th–12th graders. If you know any students who might be interested, make sure they know about this opportunity to learn and play while making new friends.
Please also help us spread the word that Principia Lifelong Learning is now offering three non-credit, online courses each month. Next month’s courses focus on sustainability, da Vinci, and the Torah sections of the Bible. Click here for more information or “like” us on Facebook for regular updates. In addition, five online credit courses will be offered this summer to enrolled College students. Introducing online opportunities was an important part of the “Rising Higher, Reaching Further” strategic plan adopted in 2009, and we are grateful to see Principia’s online offerings taking hold.
You may have heard that the Upper School is offering its first online course starting this fall. The accredited biology course is available to any high schooler who regularly attends a Christian Science Sunday School. The teacher, Lynne Scott, is a member of the Upper School faculty and has also taught online courses at the college level. Click here to meet Lynne, read her thoughts about online learning, and learn more about this class.
Next Tuesday, you can tune in for the latest Principia Chat and get an update on the full range of online courses and learning adventures being offered through Principia Lifelong Learning. Kim Browning, director, and instructor Nikki Nicolet will share insights and take your questions about current and future programming. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 8, on PIR at 7:30 p.m.
This year’s metaphysical theme—“Walk in the Spirit”— has served to inspire and move each of us forward throughout the academic year. From the fall walk-a-thon in support of the Middle School renovation project to our graduates’ final walk across the stage at the School or College, Principia students have made remarkable progress each step of the way.
Please join me in congratulating our students, faculty, and staff on another successful year at Principia!