Wednesday, August 20, 2008

End of the World & the Class of 2012

Well , we just welcomed the class of 2012.By the time they graduate the world will end as they know it. At least that what some say the Maya Calendar predicts. The calendar runs out on 12.12.2012.

I personally doubt the world will end then due to some galactic shift, or being hit by an asteroid etc as some predict. But “The End of the World as we know it,” isn’t that what college is all about? At Rockhurst we try to prepare students to face the real world. The “cozy world” the class of 2012 will have known, will abruptly end (but in mid May 2012, not December 12th.)

Having experienced a broad-based Liberal Arts education will well-equip these students to face whatever may come. And knowing human nature, we humans will probably have wreaked a certain amount of havoc upon ourselves, but essentially we are good, even if we have to dig down deep some times. The Catholic and Jesuit ethos is that we can find God in all things, and make God’s good world better. It’s a healthy and balanced dose of optimism. And Lord only knows, we could use some of that. The class of 2012 is our future. And there are many bright minds, loving hearts, and people possessing intestinal fortitude who can enable us to face whatever may come, with the grace of God. The world will end in 2012 as we know it and give birth to a new world, just as it will end in 2009, and already ended in 2001, etc. But with a Rockhurst University education gradates can face the myriad challenges and opportunities in an ever shifting and exciting world.

For pics of the incoming class click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

XXIX Olympiad & RU

The opening ceremonies in Beijing were totally awesome, a true tribute to what the human spirit can achieve. Equally breath-taking are Michael Phelps’ performances. That 400M relay was like nothing else!

But what does the XXIX Olympiad and Rockhurst University have in common? China. Back in April 1997 Dr. Frank Smist of our Political Sciences Dept. led a trip to Hong Kong. This trip was sponsored through the Global Studies Center and run through our Center for Arts and Letters. Frank’s last group tour to China was in March 2002. But last year Dr. Martin Stack from the Helzberg School of Management was on sabbatical which involved taking a trip to China to study their beer making. (What a sabbatical!) But Dr. Stack did some serious business research and was on a panel held this past Spring.

The International Studies and Global Perspectives Committee organized a series of three events related to China in Spring 2008. Five Rockhurst faculty members and one student participated in a panel in which they discussed their experiences of traveling, studying, or living in China. Dr. Catherine Green (Philosophy) spoke about the Catholic Church in China; Dr. Cecilia Samonte (History) talked about China’s foreign policy toward southeast Asia; Dr. James Daly (Dean of HSOM) and Dr. Stephen Holland-Wempe (Director of our Study Abroad Program) also presented information regarding how Rockhurst students can study in China. And Dr. Martin Stack discussed the research on beer that he conducted. Finally Ms. Elaine Chen, an RU student, shared her experiences as an Asian-American immigrant.

The second China event was a guided tour of the world-renown China exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, right here in Kansas City. The tour was organized especially for the Rockhurst community. The Committee wrapped up the China event with a campus viewing and discussion of the film, “Joy Luck Club” (1993), based on the novel of the same name by Amy Tan.

So you see, RU has a strong connection with China. At the games athletes strive for excellence, to give it all they’ve got. This need of the human spirit to perform at one’s peak is part of the Jesuit tradition called magis, to strive for greater and greater things, all for the glory of God. The best athletes are the ones who are humble and know that there is a greater Power, and are filled with gratitude for their innate abilities that they have honed. This is what Rockhurst education is all about, honing the God-given talents that one has and empowering them to their utmost. So check us out. And maybe even study abroad in China!