October 31, 2014

Fresh Pencils and the Promise of a New Year

Fresh Pencils and the Promise of a New Year
September 5, 2013

The beginning of a new academic year always brings excitement and inspiration: students arrive with fresh pencils, and everyone has an A. The promise of a progressive year fills the air.

It’s terrific to have the students back. At the College, current students come from 37 states and 28 countries. Upper School students hail from 32 states and represent 12 countries. We’ve enjoyed sharing insights gained through summer activities with one another.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity during my fall convocation address at the College to reflect on my summer trip to Greece, where we traced some of the travels of the Apostle Paul and studied his writings. The many lessons learned have helped me in thinking about what kind of community we have and want here at Principia. Paul’s leadership within the early Christian Church provides valuable ideas for us as an organization that exists to serve the Cause of Christian Science. (Click here to listen to the address.)

The tradition of bringing a remarkable lineup of speakers to Principia continues this fall. We are pleased to be hosting former president of the Soviet Union and Nobel Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev on the Cox Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 3, as this year’s George A. Andrews Distinguished Speaker. Presented as “A Conversation with Mikhail Gorbachev,” we have invited John Yemma, editor of The Christian Science Monitor, to lead the question-and-answer format. Ticket information is available at www.principiacollege.edu/speakers. The talk also will be broadcast live on Principia Internet Radio.

Although it is not nearly as high profile, the Cardboard Canoe Regatta takes place September 21 in Piasa Harbor, and everyone is invited to attend. This is one of my favorite events of the year! Calling on their reserves of ingenuity and creativity, students build vessels out of cardboard, decorate them, and then set sail on the Mississippi. Come see how long cardboard can float; you don’t want to miss it!

We are looking forward to welcoming Upper School reunioners to campus September 12–14. This year’s 50th Reunion classes were the first to spend all four years on the new “country campus,” so it will be especially fun to have them back. Football and field hockey athletes across the generations also will be gathering this year as alumni affinity groups. Alumni can register now for a fun weekend of reconnecting and making new friends.

Every fall, back-to-school season tends to swing the spotlight to education, and some graduates get nostalgic for their days in the classroom. The good news is that, here at Principia, we view education as perpetual. If you think of yourself as a lifelong learner, consider enrolling in a September or October Principia Lifelong Learning (PLL) course. Explore the options here, and if you register by September 9, you’ll enjoy a 20 percent discount.

Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan defines education as “that which means the unfolding of individual capabilities along all right lines, physical, mental, moral, and spiritual. It should begin with infancy and go on eternally” (Education at The Principia, p. 6).

It’s challenging, fun, and inspiring to be implementing Mrs. Morgan’s vision of educating Christian Scientists from infancy through adulthood. I invite you to find your own opportunities to engage in the Principia experience this year. Perhaps you’d like to join one of the upcoming Principia Lifelong Learning trips—or introduce Principia to someone you know and love. Whatever direction your inspiration takes you, we welcome your ongoing support and engagement.