Embracing the unscripted life

first_imgIn a time of global change and uncertainty, Harvard continues to support, encourage, challenge, and prepare its students to face times of calm and crisis and help them to understand that “life never follows a script,” Harvard President Drew Faust told the College’s Class of 2010 on Tuesday (May 25).Faust’s remarks in the Memorial Church were part of the annual Baccalaureate Address, a Commencement week ritual dating to 1642 that gathers seniors for an informal farewell from the University’s president and the clergy.In her speech, Faust recalled the words of Robert F. Kennedy, who addressed South African students in 1966 who were fighting to end apartheid. Kennedy, said Faust, told those students that they lived in times of danger and uncertainty, but also in times of great possibility.“Now you have your own uncertainties and dangers and your own scripts to write,” Faust told the seniors. “The world has never needed you more. And we send you into that world with our confidence — our confidence in your commitment and our confidence in your abilities to create a script from the unexpected for which you are so well prepared.”On the hottest day of the year, the young men and women poured into the sweltering Memorial Church, dressed in their traditional black caps and gowns for their Harvard farewell.The time-honored ceremony included readings from Hindu scripture, the Holy Quran, the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and the Analects of Confucius. In addition, there were comments from the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.As is customary, Gomes was stationed at the church’s front steps and welcomed the seniors, who processed in a long line that snaked through the Old Yard. He greeted them with a solemn nod or friendly word.Faust said that changes at Harvard, ranging from the reforms in its financial aid programs to the successful introduction of a new undergraduate General Education curriculum, combined with a changing global landscape, provided lessons for the seniors that were “too important to forget.”Her first lesson concerned humility.“If Harvard graduates were writing the book on it, someone once said, the title would have to be ‘Humility and How I Achieved It,’ ” Faust joked. But, she added, “humility, in fact, is what makes learning possible — the sense of ignorance fueling the desire to overcome it.”Reiterating her “parking space theory of life,” Faust encouraged the seniors, in her second lesson, to be risk takers and aim for goals where they can do what they love.“Don’t park 10 blocks away from your destination because you think you’ll never find a closer space. Go to where you want to be. You can always circle back to where you have to be.”The students were well aware of her third important lesson, she said, that “the world really needs you,” acknowledging that they had already developed “a deep sense of obligation” through extensive humanitarian work and volunteer efforts.“You need to be the authors, the entrepreneurs, of your own lives,” offered Faust as her final lesson. “And this part I don’t have to tell you either. You are already doing it,” she said, referring to student projects such as a nonprofit group that built a girls school in Afghanistan. She also mentioned a soccer ball, born out of an engineering class assignment, that “can store energy and convert a playground ballgame into a power source for people in developing nations.”“Keep asking the big, irrelevant questions; keep thinking beyond the present,” Faust told the students. “Then live what you have learned.”Senior and Adams House resident Crystal Chang, a molecular and cellular biology concentrator who has plans to attend dental school, said Faust’s theme of embracing a life that doesn’t go according to a script is a message that everyone can appreciate.“It was very encouraging and very inspiring at the same time,” she said.last_img read more

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Muslim Student Association holds annual Islam Awareness Week

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Muhammad Abubakar Mian Members of the Muslim Student Association pass out hijabs during 2016’s Islam Awareness Week outside DeBartolo Hall as a way of informing students on Muslim practices and creating interreligious dialogue.On Saturday, MSA hosted an Islamophobia Training session, a new addition to the annual Awareness Week. The event focused on bringing awareness to the issue of Islamophobia and promoting and understanding allyship.One of the biggest events of the week is a hijab distribution, which will take place Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fieldhouse Mall. This event focuses on educating people about the meaning, purpose and history of the hijab.“With the hijab distribution, people can just come by — and obviously there’ll be a couple of Muslims at the stand — and you can start and have a conversation,” he said. “You can ask them questions, get to know one another a little bit, you might even end up making a friend.”The week, which is cosponsored by student government, the Gender Relations Center, Campus Ministry, the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion and Diversity Council, will continue with previous years’ events including a dinner on Tuesday and a mosque visit on Friday. Thursday’s event will be a halaqa, which is a gathering to discuss religious matters, on the rights of parents.“These are all events that we do every year because they bring so much value,” Mian said.In addition to the traditional events that occur every year, the MSA will be introducing a new event. Wednesday will feature a dessert crawl and cultural night. Mian said the MSA decided to plan this event in an attempt to show — contrary to some common misconceptions — the Muslim world is very diverse.“The culture night is going to be Muslim students on campus from different Muslim countries that will be giving short, fun, five-minute presentations on their country, and that’ll be really exciting,” Mian said. “I think a lot of people will really be surprised by just how much diversity there is to the different Muslim cultures all over the world.”In light of the recent tragedy in New Zealand where 50 people were killed at Friday Prayer, Mian said he hopes Islam Awareness Week will provide a new perspective on recent events and the sacredness and meaning of Friday Prayer in the Islamic tradition.“All of these events provide an opportunity to really understand the weight of the tragedy,” he said. “I think visiting the Mosque might really show people, might shed greater light on the weight of this tragedy given what the Friday Prayer is.”Speaking on the overall goal of Islam Awareness Week, Mian said he hopes Muslims and non-Muslims on campus will grow in community.“As Muslims living in a non-Muslim community, it’s very important that we show people that are members of the non-Muslim community that we’re fully confident that we fully trust in them. Just like we would expect non-Muslims to fully trust and be fully confident in us,” Mian said. “That’s really what we’re trying to accomplish here: exposure to one another. That’s how you build trust in one another. That’s how a non-Muslim grows confidence in his Muslim neighbor, and that’s what we hope to accomplish with Islam Awareness Week.”Tags: Cultural Diversity, Islam, islam awareness week, Muslim Student Association, religion Notre Dame’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) kicked off their annual Islam Awareness Week for 2019 last Saturday. The week is designed to share aspects of the Islamic faith with students across campus, sophomore and MSA president Muhammad Abubakar Mian said.“The main purpose of Islam Awareness Week is really just exposure,” Mian said. “It’s providing an opportunity for the non-Muslim community here on campus to come together with the Muslim community, to start a dialogue or get interacting with one another.”last_img read more

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Credit unions rank high in service

first_imgby: Tina OremConsumers rate the customer service they receive at credit unions higher than the service at some of the nation’s most popular companies, including Panera Bread, Lexus, Costco, Whole Foods and Marriott, according to the 2015 Temkin Customer Service Ratings.The customer research firm’s annual survey is based on feedback on 278 companies via an online survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers during January 2015. The survey asked consumers to identify companies that they interacted with during the previous 60 days and to rate their satisfaction with their customer service on a scale of 1 to 7 (with 7 being the highest). continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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