New Spin on an Old Tradition
This year something unusual happened at Shimer College: the Dean held Convocation before class commenced. Speaking on the afternoon of August 24th, Barbara Stone reminded attendants that in Latin “convocation” means a calling together. The word is rooted in a celebratory gathering at the beginning of a new year, and for Shimer’s new academic year there is much to celebrate. The college welcomes a class of 35 new students, all of them passionate about the Great Books tradition, yet unconventional themselves. Their past experiences range from student teaching, to musical composition, to service in the Navy. In short, they’ve accomplished much in their lives and the Shimer community is excited to see what they do with the next four years.
Barbara also explained that the college had recently been through a frenzy of activity this summer, with the faculty and staff relocating both their equipment and themselves all over the floor. The moves facilitated a smarter use of space for the community. In addition, President Ed Noonan encouraged the new students to explore the great city of Chicago while reminding them that Shimer is a school where each person’s work will be taken seriously. In a less serious fashion, he also told them it will be rather easy for IIT’s students to spot them on campus when they run into buildings or trees while reading and walking at the same time.
As a whole the two speeches reflected the pursuit to find a balance between stability and change. Shimer College abounds with new faces as the new academic year begins with a convocation of teachers and students focused on exploring the great ideas that have shaped our world. That shared exploration, Barbara Stone added, “constitutes quite an old tradition”.