By Deanna I. Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU
This month’s issue of Connections celebrates the arts on Jesuit campuses. The arts are an integral part of the Jesuit concept of “educating the whole person” — mind, body and spirit. You’ll read about how this is taught at five Jesuit institutions featured in this issue: Boston College, Canisius University, Fairfield University, Gonzaga University and Loyola Marymount University.
The arts played a big part in my experience at Fordham University, and helped to enhance my understanding of Jesuit education. During the summer after my freshman year, I had the opportunity to travel to Spain with the Fordham University Choir to sing in cities that were significant in the life of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Our group also visited pilgrimage sites including the room in Loyola where Ignatius experienced his conversion to a new life as a religious person, Barcelona, where he studied the classics, and Montserrat, where he prepared for his new life by giving away his possessions. It was amazing to be in these places and walk in the footsteps of Ignatius, a man whose educational legacy was alive and well in all of us on that trip.
My musical education at Fordham also taught me leadership skills (through serving as vice president of the University Choir during my senior year); adaptability (depending on which sections needed stronger voices, I regularly switched from alto to soprano); and teamwork (when you’re part of an ensemble, you have to work together and listen to each other at all times). All of these skills are essential to being a successful professional, and all can be acquired through the performing arts.
This is our last issue of Connections for 2015, but we will return next month with a look at STEM programs on Jesuit campuses. As always, we thank you for your support of AJCU, and wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
All the best,
Deanna I. Howes