Dr. Palmer’s Update: November 2012
It’s always rewarding when outsiders validate our consecrated efforts here at Principia. One of those moments occurred last week when Principia College was ranked No. 3 on Kiplinger’s list of the ten “best values in private colleges under $20K.”
As I stated in a July memo addressing the costs of a Principia education, “We are continually looking at potential new ways to most effectively deliver our educational programs within a constrained budget environment.” This is not an easy task. However, supporting the Principia community of lifelong learners—from infants through adults—is a rewarding and worthy effort. Thank you for your part in this daily demonstration.
As we speed toward the end of fall semester, activities at the School and College are in full force, and our students are letting their lights shine in all directions.
The second of four “Prin Giving Days” takes place tomorrow for the Upper School. Students will devote the day to service—making a difference near and far. Some groups will work on campus to eradicate honeysuckle while others visit a local veterans’ home, animal shelter, Christian Science nursing facility, or other nonprofit organization.
Throughout the year, students at all levels are partnering with local agencies that need their help. Fourth graders are collecting winter clothing and helping match donations to children in a Head Start program. College students are joining with the local Sierra Club to help clean up along the River Road. This is all part of answering Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan’s question: “What can we do for [our students] that will best prepare them for real life—a life of useful service and strong purpose?” (Education at The Principia, p. 57)
Throughout the fall season, student-athletes have gained some terrific opportunities to shine as well. At the School, one member of the girls’ tennis team took fourth place at the State competition. And the entire boys’ cross-country team and three runners from the girls’ team have qualified for the State competition in Jefferson City this Saturday.
Yesterday, the boys’ soccer team won its first District game in the tournament being hosted at home on our new turf field. A huge shout-out of gratitude to the donors who helped Principia renovate the field in time for the fall athletic season. Click here to read more about it.
At the College, the women’s cross-country team took its second conference championship in three years while one team member, senior Casey Powell, captured her second consecutive individual championship and Runner of the Year award. In addition, head coach Chuck Wilcoxen was named conference Coach of the Year for the women’s team. (Last year, he was conference Coach of the Year for the men’s team.)
Opportunities abound for our students to connect with global experts. The Pan-African Conference kicks off tomorrow at the College and will focus on “Human Rights in Africa: The Role of the Traditional Courts and the International Criminal Court.” Friday’s keynote address will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on Principia Internet Radio (PIR).
In Cox Auditorium tonight at 7:30 p.m., world-renowned organist Olivier Latry will present a concert of organ masterworks along with an improvisation from the Christian Science Hymnal. If you can’t be there in person, tune in on PIR to hear the Paris Cathedral of Notre Dame’s internationally acclaimed organist playing the Cox organ.
Without a doubt, it’s going to be a busy weekend across Principia. And the opportunities for intellectual expansion continue throughout the month. Next weekend, November 8–10, the College will be hosting a conference celebrating architect Bernard Maybeck, who designed many of the buildings on the College’s National Historic Landmark campus. The conference will include the premiere showing of Pursuing Beauty: The Architecture of Bernard Maybeck, a recently completed documentary on Maybeck’s life and work. For the schedule and registration information, click here.
As we enter the season of gratitude, I am inspired by the selflessness and far-reaching blessings being shared by Principia students of all ages. “We are approaching America’s Thanksgiving season,” Mrs. Morgan told a group of parents before asking yet another thought-provoking question: “Is it to be a day of material feasting only, or can we make it an occasion of genuine gratitude expressed in a forgetfulness of self that reaches out to bless others?” (Education at The Principia, p. 40)
Here’s my Thanksgiving wish for a spiritual feast and the true blessing of self-forgetfulness!