Monday, September 7, 2009

Quiet Holiday

Like Christmas on campus this morning -- seems not a creature is stirring.

Thinking this morning about last week and a two days there was a sign outside the Joan S. and Charles W. Coker Library and Information Center about ETV Technology training. Never did any real investigation of that but as I went into the library I noticed the computer room was full and it looked like a good bit of activity. I am thinking that ETV was doing some training for those who run media centers and technology services in K-12 schools.

And, I was thinking about the role a college plays in fostering learning and action in a community. On a very surface level that was called 'town/gown' relations. There is more to this concept, however, and I think we begin to see it when groups from the community are able to use some of the campus resources for professional development. We also see it when the College and the Community combine some resources to expand the cultural offerings -- as is being done with the David Osborne piano concert on September 16 at the Performing Arts Center and even as is being done tomorrow with Jack Riggs, a Georgia author reading from his new novel, THE FIREMAN'S WIFE. That event is led by Hartsville's independent bookstore, Burry Bookstore. I had the opportunity to introduce another author at a similar event and that writer took a lot of time talking to students and others about both the process of writing and the process of getting published. Those are rich experiences and when you combine efforts their impact is much greater across the community.

Yet, there are other levels to this concept of college-community relationship and it appears they are going to be one of the subjects for more intense discussion as the campus works toward a new strategic plan. Dr. Wyatt, Coker's new president, has observed several times that he believes a college has a commitment to community that goes beyond sharing cultural events into the questions of how the "Academy" can be part of making the "Community" (the reason for the quotes is that we are not alway talking geography when talking community)better for ALL. Several times Dr. Wyatt has referred to a call of service to the Academy from the community and he is seems to be eworking to find ways of exploring this calling.

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