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Sep10WedBooth president reminds students that education is about transformation. September 10, 2014
Booth University College welcomed in the 2014-15 academic year with an inspirational Opening Convocation celebration with its students, faculty, staff and friends.
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In his opening remarks, Booth UC President Dr. Donald Burke said the excitement of the first days of the semester will fade quickly as we settle into the routine of our weekly schedules, but encouraged everyone to not let the routine obscure the fact that exciting things are happening.
"It is in the routine of classes and readings, conversations and meals together, praise and prayer together, it is in this routine that our minds are shaped, our lives are formed and our faith is affirmed," said Burke. "We are a learning community - a community of learners - who are united in our quest for truth, united in our desire to see a better world and united in our need for hope for the future."
"At Booth University College, education encompasses the whole person - it is not simply about the development of skills; it is not simply about preparing for a good-paying job; it is not simply concerned with cramming as much into our brains as possible. Education at Booth UC is about transformation; it is about opening up worlds that have been hidden from us previously; it is about disciplining our minds so that we are able to think through complex issues; it is about attuning our ears to be able to hear truths and voices that are too often silenced; and in this Christian University College, education adds another dimension - that is, it is about understanding how faith shapes who we are and who we become, how it reveals dimensions of life in the world that would be obscured otherwise."
As a Christian university college, Booth's vision is "Education for a better world." Burke emphasized that if we are to live up to our potential as a learning community, this will become more than a vision.
"It will become a way of life, a way of understanding what a Booth UC education is all about, and a way of characterizing the quality of what we do here," he said. "Education for a better world helps us to draw together all of our resources - the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual resources - at our disposal to shape our vocation 'for the life of the world.' A Booth UC education holds out before us the vision of a better world in which despair gives way to hope, revenge is overcome by mercy, and injustice is supplanted by peace."
During the Convocation Address, Booth UC's Dean of the School for Continuing Studies, Lt-Colonel Dr. Susan van Duinen quoted the imaginative British writer concerned with social justice, George Orwell: “For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavouring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.”
"I believe this is the opposite stance of Booth University College. Booth UC is endeavouring to make a difference through 'education for a better world.' No lying down and letting things happen here,” said Lt-Colonel van Duinen. “Education for a better world - a statement of such proportions demands, and catapults us individually and collectively into the world to not “simply lie down and let things happen to us”, rather to make a difference.”
“Booth UC has a clear mission that guides us all. We have had good days; however, I believe our best days are not behind us, our best days are ahead,” she said. “God is not done with Booth UC, our city, our province, our country. He is not finished with our world for that matter. God has anointed you and me to share hope and the good news for such a time as this. God bless you as you prepare to meet the world head on. God bless Booth UC as it seeks to make real the mission of integrating faith in Jesus Christ and academic excellence for a better world.”
More on Booth UC's Opening Convocation