In March, Lourdes celebrated National Women's History Month by recognizing the diversity and vision of area artists and business women at the fourth annual WAVE (Women, Artists, Visionaries and Entrepreneurs) Festival.
The festival featured an indoor exhibition and sale of fine arts and crafts such as ceramics, fiber arts, jewelry, pottery and paintings, as well as live entertainment. Proceeds from the event benefitted Harbor House.
"Lourdes is the only higher education institution currently in northwest Ohio that began as a women only college," shares committee member Kelly Dilworth. "We are proud to host this festival, which speaks to our history and the spirit in which we continue to recognize and honor women who not only have shaped our past, but will influence our future."
In honor of the 2011 US Black History Month theme "African Americans and the Civil War," Lourdes brought back its unique live-action planetarium show The Conductor to kick off the institution's month-long celebration.
Presented in partnership with the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, The Conductor shared the powerful, historic tale of the Underground Railroad and how those involved used the stars to guide them on their journey.
Lourdes' annual Celebration of Black History Month concert event followed and featured Reverend Kevin Bedford, Pastor of the Third Baptist Church and newly elected President of the Toledo Chapter of the NAACP. The David Carter Symphonic Choir, Lourdes College Chorus and Good Company Ensemble and the Scott High School Gospel Choir all gave musical performances.
The institution's recognition of Black History Month closed with a bus trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The trip was sponsored by Accessibility Services, the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Services and TRiO.
Last winter, Lourdes International Business Instructor Patti Skaff ('08, MOL, Organizational Leadership; '93, BA, Business Administration) joined a delegation of small business owners on an educational and cultural exchange trip to Amman, Jordan, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Hosted by the Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development (GLC) and sponsored by the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the trip was a follow up to a previous visit by a group of Middle Eastern business owners who came to northwest Ohio and worked with the delegation.
The group worked together to tour local family run companies, host and attend workshops and identify key issues for improving overall business functionality.
"One of our goals was to serve as mentors for the younger generations who are taking over their family businesses in the Middle East," shares Patti. "Many of these individuals have a desire to run their family business in a more progressive way and we wanted to be there to give them insight and assist them with their ideas.
"It was an exciting experience to see how these young business owners continue trying to affect change by growing and developing their businesses in spite of the challenges they face in many of their countries," reflects Patti.
With more than a dozen colleges and universities located in or around Lucas County, it may be surprising to learn that less than 14% of residents currently hold a bachelor's degree.
In a new program known as Committed College Coach (CCC), Lucas County is striving to change the culture of northwest Ohio so that earning a college degree is a priority for its residents, particularly the younger generations.
Lourdes has joined as a member of the project and has appointed alumna Oriana Orozco ('10, BA, Marketing) to represent the institution as one of the coaches. "We'll be working with students in fifth grade on," shares Oriana.
"As coaches, we'll take students on tours of different colleges and universities, share career options with them and help them navigate things like achievement tests and the financial aid application process."