GREENVILLE, PA—The Community Building Initiative announced today its schedule of Community Gathering events for the spring semester. Held the first and third Thursday of each month, Community Gatherings feature national and regional guests who will speak, perform or entertain with a goal of enhancing Thiel’s social and academic culture.
Community Gatherings are held in the Lutheran Heritage Room of the Howard Miller Student Center, beginning at noon, unless otherwise noted. Refreshments are available following each event.
The schedule of presenters for the Community Gatherings events for spring 2009 is:
- January 22—Community Builders: Three Inspiring Stories from the Two-Thirds World
Dr. Joyce Cuff, Thiel professor of biology, talks about leaders she has encountered in her journeys to Kenya, Nicaragua and Tanzania.
- February 5—Founders’ Day—11 a.m.
Luther John Kuder ’59 will be honored with the A. Louis and Barbara Thiel Award, which is presented to community members who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership, and long-term service to Greenville and its environs. Kuder is the retired president of L.J. Kuder Inc. and a former College Trustee. (Call 724-589-2240 to RSVP for the event if you are interested in attending.)
- February 19—Challenges of Beginning a New Presidency
Dr. Brian King, assistant professor of political science at Muskingum College, provides insight into the difficulties President Barack Obama faces as he begins his presidency.
- March 12—Making an Impact in the Wider World
Dr. David Buck, Thiel assistant professor of history, connects Thiel’s global emphasis and how the community can be involved in global issues. Special emphasis will be placed on the microloan project that evolved from the Global Heritage course.
- March 26—Religion in Contemporary Politics
Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau, associate professor and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and author of “Thumpin’ It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today’s Presidential Politics” and “The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously,” will present a provocative account of the significance of religion in the politics of today.
- April 9—My Journey into the World of Contemporary Music
Northwestern Pennsylvania native Luke Laird is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who has written and co-written many songs, including Carrie Underwood’s hits “So Small” and "Last Name." He will talk about his musical journey and will perform some of his songs.
- April 23—Principles of Sustainability
Sister Barbara O’Donnell works in conjunction with EverGreen, a sustainability center, and leads the Eco Spirituality, EcoJustice program, a ministry that seeks to promote right relationships for a sustainable future. Composting will be a central focus of her presentation.
The Community Building Initiative is a new effort to renew a sense of community and togetherness on Thiel’s campus as well as between Thiel and the greater Greenville Community. The Community Building Initiative has five tiers—Community Experiences, Community Gatherings, Community Traditions, Community Worship and Community Greening events.
All Community Building Initiative events are free and open to the public. Call 724-589-2106 or visit www.thiel.edu/cbi for updated information and schedules.