Monday, February 27, 2012

Missions Week

Missions Week is an annual event that highlights Gordon's strong global missions history. The week includes two chapel services, three evening dialogue sessions and daily access to representatives from various missions boards. This year we will have 11 visiting organizations representing mission outreaches such as church planting, sustainable agriculture and ministry to the urban poor. Today and Wednesday we welcome to our sanctuary guest speaker Libby Little of Interserve, who will speak on "For Love of Neighbor."

"We're excited to have Libby Little as our speaker this  year for missions week," said Dean of Chapel Greg Carmer. "Through 35 years of faithful ministry in Afghanistan, Libby and her husband, Tom, were wonderful examples of incarnational ministry, serving  through medical care, hospitality, and education. Their lives have been great models of living out the Gospel for the sake of our neighbors--even those on the other side of the world.

Also this week, the Lane Student Center will host many visiting missions organizations, so be sure to stop by their tables and welcome them to our campus. "We hope these three days are rich and meaningful for the community," said Megan Wigton, administrative assistant for the Chapel Office. Ensuring students have exposure to a diverse range of missions organizations over a student's four-year experience is key to each year's scheduled planning. "The week should demonstrate a variety of examples of faithful service to global missions."

This year's visting global missions include:
African Inland Mission
Asian Rural Institute
Center for Student Missions (CSM)
International Teams
Kupenda for the Children
Send International
Serving in Mission (SIM)
Wycliffe Bible Translators
Youth Works

Many of these global missions representatives will also join classes this week to talk with students about how the work their doing impacts the topics they are studying. Over ten courses this week will bennefit from these personal reflections.
View the schedule online.

Photo: Heather (Smith) Kopri, senior admissions counselor in the Gordon College Admissions Office, during her month-long mission trip to Nepal.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Digital Man/Digital World

Half a century ago, computers filled entire rooms and consumed enough electricity to power over 100 households. The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) transformed the entire industry, making computers smaller, less expensive and more accessible. DEC’s founder, Ken Olsen, was a major contributor to the innovations that made possible the Information Age. In 1986, Fortune Magazine named Olsen "America's most successful entrepreneur."

Olsen joined the Gordon College Board of Trustees in 1961, inspired by the openness with which science is taught at Gordon as well as with the critical thinking and empirical approaches of the faculty. Today Gordon College is home to the Ken Olsen Science Center and the Ken Olsen Archives--the largest intellectual property donation in history from Olsen. The loggia of the building also serves as a museum to Ken Olsen and all the employees and inventions that made up Digital Equipment.

Digital Man/Digital World: The Story of Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corporation, premiered at this year's Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. The film was nominated for Best Documentary at the festival, where the producers of the film, the family of the late Ken Olsen and Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay and Vice President Dan
Tymann were present. "From the first minicomputers to the first corporate credit union, the documentary highlights the many dimensions of Ken's leadership," said Tymann. "His impact on Gordon's community and culture was also significant--those pathways are still felt here today."

The documentary will be shown in its first public television broadcast on WFYI Indianapolis tonight at 8 p.m. It will then air on 300-plus PBS affiliates around the country this summer.

Photo: Ken Olsen, founder and president of Digital Equipment Corporation.
Digital Man/Digital World was made possible by a grant from Gordon College.


Opening Doors for the Next Generation of Scientists

Four high school students from Covenant Christian Academy, a Christian and preparatory preK-12 school in West Peabody, visited the Ken Olsen Science Center Wednesday to perform a molecular biology lab--a requirement for their Advanced Placement biology curriculum. Gordon's science facility is second to none in the region. So when their teacher Kelly Story '88 contacted science faculty at Gordon, the College opened the labs for the student research.

The students were given access to Gordon's biotechnology equipment. During the lab, they transformed some E. coli bacteria to make it antibiotic resistant; created DNA fragments using restriction enzymes; and studied the fragments using gel electrophoresis and a fluorescent dye.

Photo: Area high school students from Covenant Christian Academy discovered a few exciting living and preserved animal specimens while in the Ken Olsen Science Science this week. . . including a cougar!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Echoes of Deep Faith: A Week of Questions with Michael Ramsden

Story by Rachel Bell ’12

Feb. 6 - 8, Gordon College hosted Michael Ramsden, European Director of RZIM Zacharias Trust, as the guest speaker for a spiritual emphasis week entitled “Deep Faith: Loving God with Hearts and Minds.” This week of spiritual renewal was a collaborative effort between President D. Michael Lindsey and the Chapel Office.

Dean of Chapel Dr. Greg Carmer met Ramsden last summer at a conference in Oxford, where Ramsden is a lecturer in Christian apologetics at Wycliffe Hall. Though he grew up in the Middle East in a non-Christian family, Ramsden now lives in Oxford with his wife and three children. “His person and his approach are appealing,” said Dr. Camer, “because he is both professional and pastoral.”

In five separate talks, Ramsden covered topics such as “obstacles to the Christian walk” and “moral objections to the church and to God.” In a chapel service on Wednesday morning he encouraged students not to be afraid of their doubts about the Christian faith. “The god of the gaps is not the God of the Bible,” he said. “The basis for encountering God is not what you do not know, it’s what you know.”

Ramsden’s approach was popular with many students. “He was an incredible speaker who was able to combine intellectual pursuit and doubt, which is very relevant on a college campus,” said Kristin Beebe ’13, a linguistics and Spanish double major. Beebe appreciated that the week focused on questions posed to the Christian faith. “No matter what, when we leave the confines of the "Gordon bubble," we will have to face these questions,” she said, “coming either from our friends and coworkers or from within ourselves, when we're not surrounded by other believers.”

During the Deep Faith week, Ramsden asked students to bring up the most challenging questions they could think of concerning Christianity. “We can’t bury the questions about God,” he said. “The question is: are we prepared to follow the truth?”

View videos from Ramsden’s week of messages to the Gordon College community.

Photo: Michael Ramsden speaks on Christian apologetics in the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel during Deep Faith week.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Beyond Nowhere

As Cassie Larson, VP of academic affairs for the Gordon College Student Association, welcomed students, parents, teachers and community members to the Macdonald Auditorium in the Ken Olsen Science Center, she reminded them to spread the word of the film through social media. “Tweet, text, update your Facebook status,” she said, “The filmmakers want us to spread the word through our communities.” The audience quickly settled in to watch the documentary.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scot Radio Returns

They're back! 

Scot Radio, Gordon's student-run radio station, returns Monday, February 13, for another entertaining and stimulating semester. Student Directors Naama Mendes ’13, Mac Gostow ’13 and Ricky Marte ’12 are pushing the station in a new direction, emphasizing listener call-ins and giveaways, while collaborating with more student organizations on campus. Featuring interviews with popular recording artists such as mewithoutYou and Toots & the Maytals, along with Monday and Wednesday night dance parties, the station looks to create more listener interaction while providing an eclectic mix of conversation. Co-director Naama Mendes shares, “We have a bunch of new, diverse hosts this year, all eager to make this station as big and fun it can be.” 

Scot Radio's new schedule is Monday through Thursday from 8–11 p.m. Tune in and learn more at


Monday, February 6, 2012

Students Take the Lynn Plunge

While many students were still in bed, 135 students from Gordon's first-year seminar, The Great Conversation (TGC),  gathered in the Ken Olsen Science Center on Saturday, January 28th to be rallied to order by the energetic Lynn Step Team. The performance was a kick off for a morning immersion session about the Lynn community to help prepare students for a semester of service-learning. 

In addition to the Step Team, students heard from newly-elected city councilman Hong Net, a survivor of Cambodia’s genocide and the first Cambodian leader on Lynn City Council. Mr. Net shared his hopes for a flourishing multicultural community and charged students to join in his efforts to promote the assets of Lynn. Students then had the opportunity to meet their Gordon In Lynn intern and fellow SALTeam (Serve and Learn Team) members who’ll be serving together in Lynn at a dozen different community partners each week. 

After attending a variety of workshops on issues—such as the education achievement gap, led by Mike Brown from KIPP Academy, or an introduction to the Boys and Girls Club from its Program Director, Terrell Patterson—students finished the morning with lunch and reflection on their experience with their TGC classes and professors.

Photo: TGC students start their morning with a performance by the Lynn Step Team in the Ken Olsen Science Center.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Sociologist Q & A

Two prominent sociologists, Dr. Stan Gaede, President of the Christian College Consortium, and Dr. Brad Wright, author of Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites. . .and Other Lies You've Been Told, shared the stage this week for a unique question and answer session of the Faith Seeking Understanding Lecture Series.

Wright, a sociologist and researcher from the University of Connecticut, fielded questions about his latest two books, the nature of his work in religious sociology, and why American Christians are inclined to believe negative accounts of their faith. When asked to describe his research, Wright said, “I act as a kind of mythbuster. I say, here is what people are saying, what is really going on? Let’s take a look at the facts.” As an example, Wright says that while there is a cottage industry of scaring us about the youth, or that we are losing the young, it is far from the truth. “Compared to the 80s and 90s, we see about the same numbers, with some variation across denominations.”

Dr. Gaede, a Scholar in Residence at Gordon College, pressed Wright to explain the reasoning behind this overly negative or pessimistic take American Christians have on their own faith. In response, Wright laughed and said, “Well, there seems to be an ecumenical acceptance of the negative view. We all have disagreements, but we all agree that things are going wrong.”