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The First Word: White House Convening

I’m writing these short paragraphs from a hotel room in Washington, D.C. Today I joined our University provost, Joe Jones, our dean of diversity and intercultural learning, Terry Lindsay, and representatives from just over 200 colleges and universities in a “White House Convening” on the launch of a year-long initiative called the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge.

The two-part challenge of this initiative is to strengthen our communities and to unite people across lines of faith. North Park is among the select group of schools chosen to advance this challenge during the 2011-2012 academic year.

The challenge complements our institutional mission and identity in highly effective ways. Strengthening our communities will take place through student service involvement, and the interfaith component encourages people of diverse backgrounds from these same communities to discuss what motivates them to serve others.

North Park has done this for many years. Our Christian heritage prompts us to acts of compassion, mercy, and justice. Our setting places us within a rich and diverse cultural and religious landscape.

We’re pleased to be part of this initiative not just because of the service it will facilitate and the dialogue it will engender. Rather, through these experiences and the rest of their education at North Park, our students will be put on a life-long path toward community engagement and service that is faith-informed.

The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge also reflects the design and purpose of the proposed Science and Community Life Building. Here learning in the classroom and learning outside the classroom come together. Here students become whole persons, individuals of a high intellect coupled with a deep and transforming love for God and others.

Next Steps

Return to the Summer 2011 North Parker online.

Learn more about President Parkyn.

President Parkyn at North Park University