St. Edward's University Celebrates by Volunteering
This is not just any birthday. St. Edward, King of England and the patron saint of St. Edward's University, would be 1,000 years old this month. To mark the occasion, St. Edward's students, faculty and staff at St. Edward's University are donating over 1,000 hours of community service to the Austin area, after which, they will gather on Friday, Oct. 20 for a grand celebration.
Earlier in the semester, the St. Edward's campus was notified of the community service "theme" of the party. They were given ideas for volunteering or asked to come up with one of their own. The ways in which they amassed these volunteer hours are many and varied. Some worked with well-known nonprofits such as the Capital Area Food Bank, South Austin Caregivers and the United Way.
Others donated their time to local charities with a tie to St. Edward's. For example, a number of participants helped out at the Storehouse Food Pantry, which was founded by alumna Susan Cochrun, '94 and some participants used their imagination to create unique volunteer projects. Examples include a homemade afghan with squares crocheted by different people and auctioned off to benefit SafePlace and a staff member's personal lifetime Mardi Gras bead collection, sold strand by strand to help hurricane victims.
Said Tom Sullivan, director of student life, "We were pleased to have such an enthusiastic response from our campus community, especially our students. To date, we are well over the 1,000 hours goal, and Austin is better off as a result."
Participants will get a commemorative T-shirt and all students, faculty and staff will enjoy "Fit for a King," the St. Edward's University 1,000th birthday bash, on Thursday Oct. 20th at the Recreation and Convocation Center. Attendees will find themselves in the atmosphere of St. Edward's time. They will make their own crowns while dining and viewing an original play created for the event. "The Confessor" is a one-act play written by Joseph Parks, '06. It was inspired and adapted from the Master of Liberal Arts capstone project completed by alumna Susan Akin '02, MLA '04.
At the event, St. Edward's University officials will announce the grand total of hours worked, people involved and organizations helped. A representative from each benefiting nonprofit will be invited to attend.
"The bringing together of our campus and those in need is a vital part of our mission at St. Edward's University," said Paige Booth, vice president of Marketing. "We hope our
students develop a heightened sense of community as a result of their years with us."
Indeed, said alumna Susan Cochrun, "Real learning focuses less on learning to make money and more on learning about yourself. At St. Edward's, I realized that it's not us and them – it's just us," she said. "In my opinion, the best job you can have is one that takes your focus away from yourself and places it on to others,"
In fact, St. Edward the Confessor himself embodied this ideal. Among other notable attributes, he was known for helping those in need. He was also known for his love of the church, leading to his greatest achievement – the restoration of Westminster Abbey –where another 1,000th anniversary celebration is took place last week.
For more information, go to www. stedwards.edu/1000 or call Kathy Schwartz at 416.5823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.