Lourdes celebrated Earth Day in a big way this year. The University partnered with a host of community organizations including Imagination Station, the Lucas County Soil & Water Conservation and the Toledo Zoo, to offer a full line-up of events and activities focused on sustainability and environmental friendliness.
Additional activities included free planetarium shows, an environmental footprint screening and presentation of the Franciscan Academy's eco-city. Lourdes education students worked with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Franciscan Academy students to construct the eco-city, which was crafted out of 100% recycled materials.
The week-long celebration closed with the signing of the Sylvania Franciscan Village's Care for Creation proclamation, which reaffirms the Community's commitment to the Earth.
Lourdes faculty members Dale Lanigan, EdD (Sociology & Justice Studies) and Mary Robinson, PhD (History) led a friendly discussion focused on the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Dr. Lanigan and Dr. Robinson shared thoughts on the candidates, issues and strategies that will be employed during the election and answered questions from the audience.
The Presidential Forum was part of Lourdes' spring Lifelong Learning program, which also included a bus tour of Detroit, performance by the Toledo Symphony and a wealth of classes on topics ranging from Christian iconography to fused glass.
Visit the Lifelong Learning website for current news and offerings.
Last winter, the Sylvania Franciscan Village's Have a Heart Re-Stock Drive supplied much needed hygiene items to six local organizations – Assumption Outreach Center, Bethany House, The Claver House, Helping Hands of St. Louis, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality Kitchen and the Sylvania Area Family Services.
"The Sylvania Franciscan Village is really all about relationships and the belief that we can be more together than we can alone," offers Sr. Janet Doyle, OP, SFV Administrator. "This year's Have a Heart Drive was a huge success.
"We hope to make this outreach effort an annual event, as the Franciscan Village is committed to finding ways to use our many resources for the benefit of the community."
Lourdes University celebrated the 2012 National African-American History Month with a host of educational and cultural activities. The PBS documentary "Freedom Riders" opened the month-long celebration. Students, faculty and staff gathered to watch this inspirational film recounting the 400+ brave individuals who risked their lives in 1961 to challenge segregation in the American South.
The Lourdes Community also gathered for a book discussion with author Kevin Hofmann. His book Growing Up Black in White addresses the issue of racial diversity and shares Hofmann's first-hand account of being raised in a racially diverse household.
Other activities honoring African-American History Month included a concert featuring the Honorable Judge Myron Duhart and performances by the Clarence Smith Community Chorus, Lourdes University Chorus and Good Company Ensemble as well as the theater production "I Have a Dream," an African-American Read-In and a bus trip to the Motown and Charles H. Wright museums.
In March, Lourdes' WAVE Festival (Women, Artists, Visionaries and Entrepreneurs) celebrated its 5th year of honoring National Women's History Month.
The festival featured a juried 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 Second Chance, a social service program in Toledo assisting victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution.
Lourdes University and the Franciscan Care Center of Sylvania will host the third annual North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) conference in July. Guest speakers include Catherine Spooner, LCSW, RPT/S, CTS, Thomas Galvin, MSW, LISW and Rick Chamiec-Case, PhD.
The NACSW is an interdenominational and international organization providing its members with the ability to tap into the resources of faith in order to provide more effective and faithful social work services. For more information visit www.nacsw.org.
In May, the Lourdes University Choirs presented their annual spring choral concert in the Franciscan Center. This year's concert focused on "Choral Classics and Broadway's Best."
Lourdes' Chorus, Good Company Ensemble and soloists took audience members on a fast ride through western choral music history with a selection of some of Broadway's most memorable melodies, that culminated in a sing-along Sound of Music finale.
The choirs, directed by Karen Thornton Biscay and accompanied by Olga Topuzova-Meade, offered music from the 9th through the late 20th century.
Last spring Lourdes' Spike the Spirit volleyball tournament celebrated its 25th anniversary. Congratulations go to the winning team – Double Tap. Team members included Lourdes students Sam Arredondo, Alex Blazevich, Jack Kauffman, Caitlin Short, Amelia Horton and Stephanie Bohland. They defeated the faculty/staff team – Total Package – in the championship match.