Inaugural Legacy Symposium Showcased Student, Faculty Work

By: Samantha Reynolds (’14) (Denver, Colo.)

In today’s age “interconnectedness” is not a foreign concept. In fact, we are so highly connected to people around the word it is difficult to imagine an alternative reality. However, where Duhawks excel in this hyper-connected world is in their ability to make sense of these overlaps and thus use those connections to positively impact their communities long after they don the cap and gown at commencement. This ability was most evident at the Loras Legacy Symposium on April 30.

 “It was a great opportunity to learn about what students and faculty are doing in disciplines different than mine,” said senior and featured Symposium artist, Daniela Rivera Diaz. “I enjoyed seeing the various talents and expertise Duhawks possess and how we support each other as a community. I would love to see today’s showcase repeated in years to come.”

Perhaps the person who best summarized the nature of this event was Monsignor James Barta, Ph.D., the keynote speaker at the Student Awards Luncheon. Msgr. Barta referenced St. John XIII’s radical decision to invite bishops from around the world to Rome to discuss issues regarding the Catholic Church. St. John XIII famously exclaimed, “Open the windows and let in some fresh air!”, referring to a need for a more open dialogue within Holy City walls. The same scenario is easily applicable to the Symposium. Works and research which would otherwise be confined to the boundaries of their respective disciplines intertwined and thereby threw open the proverbial windows of Loras College.

One of the best examples of this intermixing was at the faculty panel entitled, “Human-Nature-Animal Connections.” Here, Dr. Kristin Anderson-Bricker presented research on the sexual culture of America, Dr. Kevin Koch read a literary nonfiction essay entitled, “Reading the Earth,” and Drs. Maggie Sullivan and Mary Carol Harris offered an answer to the question “Is dog really man’s best friend?”

Overall, the Loras Legacy Symposium epitomized the well-rounded nature of a liberal arts education as students and faculty across disciplines presented works and research that (almost miraculously) complemented each other. Consequently, the event created a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and Duhawk camaraderie, making the day a complete success.

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