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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Baccalaureate


Prescott College is a unique institution, but at times we get so intensely sucked in by our work that we forget to step back and recognize just how special it is. After a tough semester full of research papers, essays, volunteering, and tons of reading, I attended the undergraduate baccalaureate ceremony, where I had the privilege of hearing a dozen senior projects presented in detail. Traditionally, a baccalaureate ceremony is given by faculty or community leaders selected by the graduating class, but Prescott College prides itself on being student-centered, and selected twelve students to present their senior projects. This ceremony was a stunning reminder of just how incredible and driven our students are, and how powerful the work they do is.

One student designed an eco-friendly building that is actually going to be built on campus over the Summer. It is an outdoor classroom facility, complete with sustainable materials, solar panels, passive solar heating and cooling, and a whiteboard/projector oscreen n the inside.

Another student did her interdisciplinary senior project at our Kino Bay center in Mexico. She interviewed fishermen about the overfishing and degradation in the bay, and also created a stunning photo exhibition to accompany their stories. Instead of imposing her view on the matter, she strictly gave them a voice and let them speak for themselves.

Another student reexamined our wilderness orientation, and created an alternative orientation option and a workshop to train the leaders of that orientation. It will be implemented for the first time in the Fall.

These Prescott College students had great ideas, but what makes these presentations spectacular is that they truly put them into action. That building is actually going to be built on campus over the summer, and that alternative orientation is actually going to be implemented in the fall. At Prescott College, we learn by doing… and we put our thoughts into action.

Ruby Teegarden 5.9.2013