As I write, another academic year is drawing to a close. The campus is at its most beautiful now, with all the trees in bloom. Students and families will soon come together on the lawn outside Bellarmine Hall to celebrate commencement. It is an important transition that our graduates have before them, moving into the world of work, further study, and adult responsibilities, but I know that they have received something very special during their years here.
Time and again, when I meet with alumni of all ages, I am struck by how strongly they feel the bonds of our community. So many of our alumni remains friends for life. They will be bridesmaids and best men for one another. They will be godparents. They will be there for one another in good times, and in times of sorrow. We have much to proud of at Fairfield, but above all we are fortunate to be a community that understands how essential true relationships are to a full and authentic life.
During the current year, we have been thinking about community in a very intentional, and international, way on campus, particularly through the prism of what we mean by “global citizenship.” The world is more interconnected than ever. As was evident in the campus discussions we held on the events of the “Arab Spring,” our students and faculty are immediately concerned with how the wider world has an impact on their own lives. What the world needs are capable and energetic citizens who understand this, who appreciate what a community is, and can extend that sense of community to include the entire human family.
In this issue of Fairfield University Magazine, we celebrate the 2oth anniversary of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. For two decades the Quick Center has played an essential role in expanding our appreciation of this global family, bringing the cultural riches of the world to us. One evening it might be the Guitar Orchestra of Barcelona on our stage, or the Russian National Ballet Theatre, or tango from Buenos Aires, and that’s to take note of just a few of the performances we witnessed this year. Next year’s schedule is equally varied and exciting.
We are so fortunate to be a place for vibrant discussions and cultural events, and to be able to bring the world to the attention of our campus community, and the community around us.
Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.