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PrincipiaWire » College http://www.principiawire.com Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:54:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.1 Principia College Highlights 2014–2015 http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/principia-college-highlights-2014-2015/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/principia-college-highlights-2014-2015/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:05:19 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15437

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Congratulations to the College Class of 2015 http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/congratulations-to-the-college-class-of-2015/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/congratulations-to-the-college-class-of-2015/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:03:01 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15376 Read more]]> Morning rain cleared to afternoon sun, setting the scene for this year’s College commencement, held on Saturday, May 9. In all, 109 graduates make up the Class of 2015, 94 of whom received BAs and 15, BS degrees.

After welcoming graduating seniors, friends, and family to the College, President Jonathan Palmer expressed appreciation for the exceptional leadership shown by members of the graduating class in academics, athletics, and student activities, including the mediation, solar car, and rugby teams, as well as in Principia’s institutes. “I am so grateful to know that in this year’s graduating class I have a whole group of colleagues and friends,” Dr. Palmer remarked. “It has been a privilege to see your growth, your triumphs, and your challenges. I am pretty confident in saying that Principia did not leave you where it found you. And we hope that you, and all in the audience today, will continue to stay in touch with us. We will follow your paths from here with great interest.”

Before awarding diplomas, Dr. Palmer welcomed Graham Grady, this year’s commencement speaker. An attorney and social activist committed to civic endeavors, Grady is currently a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Chicago, representing property owners and real estate developers.

“Principia occupies a special place on the landscape of higher education in America,” Grady said. “I cannot think of a more tenacious, driven, and courageous group of people embarking on life’s journey beyond college. We are proud of you for pursuing your education and your faith simultaneously here at this storied institution.”

Encouraging graduates to use their Principia education for good in the world, he asked: “What can you do that’s unique and impactful? What is it that perhaps only you can contribute? This is your world. Shape it, or someone else will.”

As proof that he practices what he preaches, Grady is passionate about helping young people in underserved areas. He is a trustee for the Lloyd Fry Foundation, which supports programs that foster learning and innovation to improve conditions for low-income communities in Chicago. He is also a founder of the African American Legacy, a compendium of volunteers who partner with the Chicago Community Trust to support education, afterschool, and mentorship programs.

Commencement was the culmination of several days of activities, including speeches by graduating international students and the baccalaureate ceremony in Cox Auditorium. At the latter, four students chosen by their peers—Gustavo Batista, Dallen Russell, Savanna Sprague, and Abbie Steckler—delivered speeches. You can listen to Dr. Grady’s full address as well as the students’ speeches on Principia Internet Radio’s College Downloadable Radio Programs page.

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A Year of Vibrant Music http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/a-year-of-vibrant-music/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/a-year-of-vibrant-music/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:01:12 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15374 Read more]]> It’s been an exciting year in Principia’s Music Department—from curtain up at the fall concert to the last performance of the year at the baccalaureate ceremony during graduation weekend.

The choir and orchestra kicked off the year with a concert celebrating the sesquicentennial of the signing of the Civil War Peace Accord. In a unique collaboration with students and faculty from the Theatre and Dance Department, the concert incorporated compelling visual media with music to expand the storytelling nature of the performances and included living portraits depicting circumstances related to the war. The evening culminated in a stirring portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln by former theatre professor Patrick McCreary (C’73) accompanied by the orchestra and followed by the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” sung with the audience.

A Tribute to American Heroes
Several weeks later, Principia hosted a talk by two Apollo 13 astronauts, James A. Lovell and Fred W. Haise, and former NASA Mission Flight Control Director Gene Kranz as part of the George A. Andrews Distinguished Speaker Series. Seizing the opportunity to present a special tribute to these American heroes, the Music Department collaborated with the government documents librarian and Media Services to assemble a special slideshow of photographs and video footage from the Apollo 13 mission. The night of the talk, the College Orchestra performed music from the Apollo 13 film to accompany the projected photos and video clips. The result was a powerful and emotional tribute.

The Apollo speakers’ appreciation for this performance led them to request a reprise in May when they addressed the University of Arkansas, so the orchestra recorded the music for the audience of over 2,500 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

An Array of Student Performers
During the fall semester, the Music Department presented a special Composers Concert, which featured original music by freshman James Skinner, junior Nate Schuck, sophomore Matt Christianson, and senior Dani McKenzie. A multimedia ensemble rounded out the evening.

In March, Principia’s Jazz Ensemble traveled south to experience the music and culture of New Orleans at the French Quarter Jazz Festival. While there, the five-member ensemble and director Dr. Joe Van Riper, who is Music Department chair, gave a rousing performance at Music Legends Park on Bourbon Street.

The final choir and orchestra concert of the year opened with a series of spirituals and folk songs from the College Choir. Next, the orchestra’s performance included selections from Disney’s Fantasia, coordinated with images from the original film.

As if this weren’t enough, weekly Music at Davis concerts provided a performance venue for students taking individual lessons and rehearsing with ensembles. And Principia’s Concert Series brought professional instrumental and vocal musicians to campus throughout the year, including internationally renowned organist Dr. Douglas Cleveland, the Delphi Trio, and concert pianist Eric LeVan.

“This truly was an amazing year for the College Music Department,” says Van Riper. “We are so proud of our students and grateful for the wonderful opportunities that Principia provides our musicians.”

Principia’s concerts are broadcast live to a worldwide audience on Principia Internet Radio. You can find recordings of some of them here.

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School’s Out but Research Continues http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/schools-out-but-study-continues/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/schools-out-but-study-continues/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:59:54 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15368 Read more]]> As part of an ongoing effort to support students’ post-graduate success, Principia College is providing room and board on campus this summer for 13 current students and recent graduates who are working alongside professors on a wide range of research projects. Students applying to graduate school with this type of hands-on research experience really stand out from the crowd!

Another bonus to this program will be the close-knit learning community fostered among the students as they share their experiences both formally and informally. Early on, students will give a panel presentation about their projects to Summer Session adult learners. Then, in the fall, they’ll present their findings to the larger campus community. Students will also have opportunities to interact with experts in institutions related to their research—an invaluable opportunity to develop professional contacts.

In all, five professors—representing the Biology and Natural Resources, Theatre and Dance, and Political Science Departments—and 13 students are conducting research on the following topics:

  • Evolutionary trends in the breeding systems of several ecologically dominant grass species; a subproject of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to include interaction with research scientists at the Danforth Plant Science Center at Washington University in St. Louis
  • The home range of timber rattlesnakes at the College and their use of the campus as a foraging habitat (in conjunction with the curator of St. Louis Zoo’s reptile house and a zoo veterinarian)
  • The relationship between disturbance history and forest composition
  • An analysis of U.S. presidential public addresses since 1945 in relation to partisan approaches to leadership
  • An exploration of strategies for creating one’s own opportunities for work in the field of theatre
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What’s Happening at the School http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/whats-happening-at-the-school-32/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/whats-happening-at-the-school-32/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:55:59 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15402 Read more]]> Principia’s Summertime Discovery is open to any Christian Science Sunday School student from 4 to 11 years old (or entering grade 6). Every week includes a metaphysical theme, time for the arts and sports, field trips, and community service. Each of the seven fun-filled weeks has a theme as well—Super Heroes, Magic and Science, Exploring the Great Outdoors, Outer Space, and more.

Summertime Discovery programming is available June 1–26 and August 3–21 for full or half days from two to five weekdays. Learn more and register!

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What’s Happening at the College http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/whats-happening-at-the-college-29/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/whats-happening-at-the-college-29/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:55:42 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15406 Read more]]> Summer Session
June 13–27

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and Summer Session is the perfect vacation! As one attendee put it, “Where else can you find fun, friendship, inspiration, entertainment, learning, and great food all wrapped into one?”

The faculty, entertainment, and activities at Summer Session are outstanding, but it’s the family feeling that makes all the difference. Whether you attend for one week or two, you’ll take new friendships home with you.

This summer’s lineup includes new classes, including The History of American Cooking and Putin’s Russia; a special presentation by Christian Science Monitor correspondents; and a concert by a virtuoso violinist. Learn more about what’s planned for summer 2015 and hear past attendees’ reflections on Summer Session.

The registration deadline is extended to Monday, June 8. Register today!


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President’s Update: Big Smiles and Miles of Gratitude http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/presidents-update-big-smiles-and-miles-of-gratitude/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/presidents-update-big-smiles-and-miles-of-gratitude/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:50:11 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15400 Read more]]> Last Saturday’s Upper School graduation brought big smiles and miles of gratitude for the significant accomplishments of all our School students.

During the week prior to receiving their diplomas, all Upper School seniors gave presentations sharing outcomes from the past three weeks of independent study and exploration.

Underclassmen worked collaboratively during the final school days to prepare presentations building on the richness of class trips that took place the week before. Freshmen studied history and art in New Mexico, sophomores went to the Dominican Republic and built three houses for families in need, and juniors studied the history of the Christian Science movement in New England.

In addition to these culminating May trips, we are looking forward to introducing Upper School class trips focused on character education this fall. Seniors will hold a class retreat at Leelanau Outdoor Center in Michigan. Underclassmen will participate in one-week Outward Bound trips to Maine, Idaho, or Washington where they will sail, raft, canoe, or rock climb.

The ultimate purpose for all of our trip programs is to follow Mary Baker Eddy’s outline for the purpose of true education: “to make one not only know the truth but live it” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 252). We are finding that experiential trips provide an excellent opportunity to enhance leadership and communication skills, establish teamwork and class unity, and develop a culture of joyfully overcoming obstacles.

The character qualities that are nurtured and honed on these trips are also important for academic success. Our educational design includes transferring these qualities back to the classroom and incorporating them into every experience throughout the entire school year.

At the College, we enjoyed having the rugby team linger on campus for a bit following commencement. They were practicing hard in preparation for the Division II National Rugby Tournament in Denver at the end of last month.

I was able to attend the competition at the University of Denver, where the stands were filled with family, alumni, and local friends of Principia. Several other spectators looked at our crowd and asked, “Now, where is Principia?” before declaring, “Wow! You people travel well.” It was indeed an impressive turnout of support with alumni of all ages, babies in strollers, and lots of loud cheering from a group of 100 Principia fans.

As one of 12 teams who qualified, the Thunder Chickens were returning to nationals for the second straight year, after earning the National Championship last year. During the two-day competition, Principia had impressive wins against Providence College and Vassar College and ended up in 10th place overall. The team represented us well.

“It’s a privilege to be here playing rugby at our highest level and representing Principia College in this manner,” said Coach Ward Patterson (C’82) during the weekend’s events.

We also have thirteen students staying on the College campus this summer to work on a variety of faculty research projects in the sciences, social sciences, and theatre arts. We’re excited about the opportunities this provides our students to hone their research skills and be mentored by faculty.

Back on the School campus, optional June sports camps are taking place, keeping the fields and gyms buzzing with activity. Our Summertime Discovery program is offering seven fun-filled weeks of activities during June and August for any Christian Science Sunday School students who are 4–11 years old.

In the fall, we are looking forward to expanding the Acorn program for infants and toddlers. Dorothy Halverson will shift from her post as assistant principal of Early Childhood and Lower School to lead an effort to support Christian Science parents of young children from coast to coast. We look forward to sharing more details about upcoming events and opportunities soon.

Throughout this academic year, I’ve witnessed many opportunities for Principia community members to demonstrate this year’s metaphysical theme: “ . . . love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

It’s been another year filled with challenges, successes, and progress, and I fully expect that growth to continue for each of us individually and as an institution. We’ll be working hard this summer to prepare for the 2015–2016 academic year and beyond. As Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan’s counsel suggests regarding vacation periods, “Both play and work should tend toward the same end—the fuller development of the individual.” I wish you all a refreshing, inspiring summer of educational adventures and “change of activity” (Education at The Principia, p. 52).

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Alumni Spotlight: Bringing Films to Light http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/alumni-spotlight-bringing-films-to-light/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/alumni-spotlight-bringing-films-to-light/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:48:47 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15397 Read more]]> Betsy Mueller’s passion for art and, more specifically, animation, was fueled at a very young age, so majoring in studio art, with an emphasis in graphic design, was a natural fit at the College. An all-around athlete, Mueller (C’98) also played golf, volleyball, and basketball.

After graduation, Mueller taught physical education in elementary schools for many years, substituting as an art teacher and taking night classes to help refocus her attention on animation. With determination and patience, she went on to become the lead lighting technical director at companies such as Digital Domain, Motion Picture Company, ReelFX, ImageMovers Digital, and The Orphanage.

The list of films for which Mueller has served as a lighting technical director is long and varied, including Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim, Superman: Man of Steel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, A Christmas Carol, Star Trek (2009), Happy Feet, and Life of Pi. The last two—Happy Feet and Life of Pi—won Oscars for best visual effects, thanks to Mueller and her teams. She was also the lighting lead for Thor, the lead lighting artist for Mars Needs Moms, and the lighter and compositor of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Currently, Mueller is a senior lighting technical director for Industrial Light & Magic, where she worked on Captain America 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and has new film projects in the works that will be released this fall.

Though Hollywood blockbusters may seem a far cry from Elsah, Illinois, Mueller gives thanks to her professors at Principia, especially Colette Collester, Coach Lee Suarez, Dr. John Near (C’69), Judith (McCreary, C’67) and Glenn (C’68) Felch, and Dan Kistler (C’79). She explains, “I’m able to do what I do because Principia helped show me that I can work on my studies with Christian Science, that the sky is the limit, and that I should never give up. What I learned from Principia is invaluable, and no one can take that away from me.”

This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Principia Purposewhere you can find other profiles of young alumni.

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Commencement 2015 http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/commencement-2015/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/commencement-2015/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:41:36 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=15379 http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/commencement-2015/feed/ 0 What’s Happening with Principia Lifelong Learning http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/whats-happening-with-principia-lifelong-learning-17/ http://www.principiawire.com/2015/06/whats-happening-with-principia-lifelong-learning-17/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 18:30:30 +0000 http://www.principiawire.com/?p=14326 Read more]]>

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and Summer Session is the perfect vacation! As one attendee put it, “Where else can you find fun, friendship, inspiration, entertainment, learning, and great food all wrapped into one?”

The faculty, entertainment, and activities at Summer Session are outstanding, but it’s the family feeling that makes all the difference. Whether you attend for one week or two, you’ll take new friendships home with you.

This summer’s lineup includes new classes, including The History of American Cooking and Putin’s Russia; a special presentation by Christian Science Monitor correspondents; and a concert by a virtuoso violinist. Learn more about what’s planned for summer 2015 and hear past attendees’ reflections on Summer Session.

The registration deadline is extended to Monday, June 8. Register today!

You can look forward to a number of exciting opportunities to learn and travel with Principia faculty in 2015 and 2016. From cruises to kayaking, from encounters with nature to urban landscapes, the variety is impressive and the faculty top-notch. Learn more about our upcoming trips—and start picturing yourself in Paris, on the San Juan Islands, or . . .



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