On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the College will host the first ever St. Mary’s Day, a college-wide discussion about the strategic vision of the College.
The idea for a St. Mary’s Day, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Beth Rushing, was conceived based on events held about 20 years ago. Then, Honors College Days were held to create a curriculum which would accurately reflect the academics of an Honors College. Rushing said that in the fall, she talked with members of the community to get “more extensive feedback on our Strategic Plan and somewhere in those conversations the notion of reviving Honors College Day…was born.”
Then, in the fall, racially charged events proved that a day was necessary to discuss “thriving on diversity” at St. Mary’s, one of the school’s goals, said Rushing. The other strategic goals are “academic rigor, access and affordability, sustainability, and community wellness.”
The loose schedule, which will be released in more concrete form shortly, begins at 10 a.m. in the Great Room, where those in attendance will divide into small groups led by students, faculty, and staff, and discuss the strategic goals of the College. After noon, the focus will shift specifically to race and will include two performances of A Look at St. Mary’s Hear and Now and discussions and workshops led by faculty and students. This segment, called “Let’s Talk about Race,” is being coordinated by Associate Professor of Philosophy Sybol Cook Anderson. Finally, at 4:15, Vice President for Business and Finance Tom Botzman and President Urgo will lead a discussion about the College budget.
In order to allow for attendance, classes have been canceled on that Wednesday. Rushing said, “It may be tempting to sleep late or get caught up on work that day. But I hope most people will recognize that the work we do on St. Mary’s Day will shape the future of this place, and that participation in the conversations provides an excellent opportunity to make your mark on St. Mary’s College.”