Friday, May 30, 2008

Glenney, Story and Giberson in Venice

“They say Venice is sinking into the Adriatic, but that isn’t putting any damper on the spirits of the participants at the first-ever Venice Summer School on Science & Religion. Gordon College is well-represented at this first summer school at the prestigious and venerable Istituto Veneto, which looks out over Venice’s Grand Canal, the “main street” of this city with no streets.”

I (Karl Giberson) am the program director, responsible for the curriculum and for inviting the speakers. Brian Glenney, assistant professor of philosophy, and Craig Story, associate professor of biology, are two of the 24 participants, selected from among many more applicants on the strength of their proposals for projects. The participants are drawn from many countries—Spain, Italy, Ireland, England, Romania, Norway, France, The Netherlands, New Zealand, as well as Canada and the U.S.

This year’s theme is God & the Laws of Nature and the keynote speakers are John Polkinghorne and Owen Gingerich—who both spoke at Gordon in the past year—and Paul Davies. Davies kicked off the program last night with a presentation, “Faith and the Laws of Nature,” highlighting the deep mystery that underlies the nature and origin of the elegant mathematical laws that undergird our scientific picture of the world and make life possible. Projects like this connect directly to the new Forum on Faith at Science at Gordon, which I direct.

Brian and I are both new to Gordon and very much enjoying our time together here with Craig in Venice. Both of us have enjoyed our introduction to the Gordon community. The picture above was taken in a typical Venetian square just after we had all had generous portions of gelato. I had to buy Brian’s gelato to pay him back for letting me use his computer when I couldn’t get the wireless to work on mine.
P.S. Be sure to read Brian’s abstract on the vssr site.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Two Couples, Two Conversations

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, and his wife, Kay, author of Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God, began Commencement Day being interviewed by Jud and Jan Carlberg. The two conversations--Jud with Rick, and Jan with Kay--provide some fascinating behind-the-scenes time with the Warrens. Along with Rick's Commencement address, the interviews can be accessed at Gordon iTunesU site.


Two Students of Church History

Dan Bell '08 (pictured, right, with roommate Mike Tishel '08) writes:
“I began research for my senior honors thesis following my arrival home from Oxford University in the spring of my junior year (April 2007), where I had spent two semesters studying and experiencing life in that wonderful place. By that September, I had landed upon a topic that I found very fascinating, focusing on the nineteenth-century church historian Philip Schaff and his historical-theological vision of Christianity’s development. During the fall semester, Dr. Tal Howard served as my thesis advisor, providing invaluable guidance and advice for this extensive project. Dr. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper took over for Dr. Howard in the spring (he was spending his sabbatical teaching in Orvieto) and was crucial during the writing and revising process. In addition, she provided some important pointers for my defense before students and faculty, which took place on May 6th. Perhaps providentially, my roommate Mike was also working on a thesis for the history department and we presented our findings back-to-back after months of hard work. Along the way, the two of us gave each other encouragement and offered any suggestions we had for our respective theses.
Over a year and 114 pages later, I completed and submitted my final draft- right in time to study for finals and prepare for graduation! In reflecting back, I believe that the time and energy I devoted to my thesis truly paid off. This is not simply because I received departmental honors in history, but because this process of in-depth research and writing helped to hone my scholarly abilities and confirmed for me my capacity to successfully pursue graduate studies. In fact, this fall, I will begin a two-year masters program at Yale Divinity School that will concentrate on the history of Christianity. I believe that my time at Yale will build on the excellent education I received at Gordon and prepare me for future doctoral work. Perhaps one day I will teach at Gordon or a similar institution and assist students as they pursue topics they find interesting and compelling, just as I did while in college.”


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bear Hugs, and the Whole Bird

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, is a big man with a big heart, and he's also, not surprisingly, a big hugger. He spoke at Gordon's 116th Commencement on Saturday, May 17. "I'm not right wing or left wing. I'm for the the whole bird."


Farewells from Leon and Rebecca Stevenson

"Thank you, Gordon family, for an amazing past four years. You have made my experience a memorable one. The Residence Life, Physical Plant, and CSD staffs have served as my extended family during my tenure at Gordon and time as a student at Gordon-Conwell. Beyond those offices many of you welcomed me into your homes, prayed for me and my wife, or merely greeted me with kindness in your respective offices. Thank you. May God continue to use this campus to advance His kingdom.
"Many of you have asked what exactly my wife Rebecca and I are moving on to. We are a part of a team of three couples that are moving into the inner city of Detroit, Michigan to start a church (Mack Avenue Community Church). If you would like to know more information about what we are doing or would like to be added to our monthly newsletter please email me at
"I leave you with the words of Paul in Colossians 2:5-7.: 'For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.'"
Leon, Rebecca, and Baby Stevenson (Due Sept 9th)!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Senior Breakfast and the "Seven Gordon Wonders"

This morning 327 graduates attended the senior breakfast at Danversport Yacht Club. President Carlberg polled the seniors to see if they wanted to hold the ceremony outdoors even in the event of poor weather. Every hand shot up in favor of outdoors. (Fingers are crossed.)Dan Kiyoi, senior class vice president, referring to the recent announcement of seven new wonders of the world, offered his own list of "7 Gordon Wonders." They are:
7. Intramural dodge ball
6. Pink package slips in your student mailbox
5. Marv Wilson
4. Golden Goose
3. Brian the "God bless you" man
2. Ginger, Jean and Pat (the "Holy Trinity of the Sandwich Line")
1. Friendship
A senior class slide show was followed by a heartfelt reflection by retiring English professor Peter Stine. In a nuthsell, Stine's message was: "Don't spend your treasure on something that doesn't fit." He reminisced about driving down the "Avenue of Trees" 40 years ago and first hearing God speak to his heart that Gordon was where he should serve. At that time, he estimated he'd remain for only five years.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Senior Thesis Exhibitions

The Sacrifice of Isaac, by Michael Drake, is part of a series, Among the Faithful. Drake's is one of several senior thesis exhibits on display in the Barrington Gallery(through May 17). Also exhibiting are graduating seniors Daphne Collins, Mary Johnson, Susan Sawyer, Sally Tsai, Daniel Kiyoi and Ashley Bargende.


Student Research on Display in KOSC

"As the semester and academic year drew to a close, student researchers put on the big push to create posters to tell others what they have been working on for such long time. Much of this work takes place in labs all around campus and this annual event brings the campus together to celebrate all the research efforts done by undergraduate students. This is a banner year, since Research Poster Day was held in the brand new Ken Olsen Science Center on May 7, and was the first 'official' event to be held in the building. It is exciting to see all the diverse work that is being done around campus. Students in biology, chemistry, kinesiology, mathematics, philosophy, physics and psychology presented their work."
--Dwight Tshudy, Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Name That Boat

The rumors are true! Biology now has a boat, a 21-foot 1987 Chris Craft Sea Hawk, with a 2002 Suzuki 225 HP 6-cylinder engine. It will be used for marine science and field ecology courses. And...the “Name the Boat” contest is on! The winner gets the opportunity to go on the boat for its maiden voyage. The contest is open to all faculty, staff and students. Email entries to with the word “boat” in the subject line, or, if you are on campus, download the contest form here. Entries must be received by May 14.


Moving Day--Phase I

Phase One of the new Ken Olsen Science Center is now complete. Craig Story, associate professor of biology, writes: "Seeing all these stacks of moving crates that arrived yesterday has provided a mixed feeling of excitement and dread: The excitement that the move is imminent, and the dread of having to go through all the books, desk contents, and lab equipment. We will be starting in earnest after classes are out, during the week of finals. I want to do it right, to sort through things before putting them in the plastic bins, but I fear I will be rushed and forced to just toss everything in! Maybe that’s the best way, sort it out over in the Olson Center. At least over there the view will be nicer."


Psyched about Research

Homelessness, spiritual growth, sports, friendships, crying, Facebook, memory, superstition, alcohol use, stress, self-esteem...
Last Thursday, psychology students taking the Integrated Research Methods course at Gordon shared new knowledge on these and other important topics with the campus community. The results of the students’ year-long research projects were displayed on poster boards in front of Emery. Faculty, staff, students, and friends across the College turned out to learn about their discoveries and to enjoy the sunny, breezy spring day.


Monday, May 5, 2008

“Heavenly Creatures in Loose Procession”

Grant Hanna '06 of Beverly, MA, participated in Montserrat College of Art's 22nd annual, invitational Artrageous! Auction, held on Saturday, May 3rd at the Cummings Center in Beverly. Hanna's piece, "Heavenly Creatures In Loose Procession, With Earthly Visitation As Their Goal," was selected by jurors Michelle LaMuniere, the Charles C. Cunningham Sr., Assistant Curator of Photography at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and Dina Deitsch, Curatorial Fellow at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA, to be one of 29 pieces displaying notable artistic merit that were part of a special live auction. Hanna's piece, an acrylic painting on a ground of silver leaf, sold for $450. Proceeds from the auction benefit Montserrat's financial aid program. See more of his work here and here.