One of the things I love most about St. Edward’s University Magazine is that each issue contains a diverse collection of stories, tied together by a connection to the university. In any given issue, we might run a weightier piece on a social justice topic, an aspirational story about a student going after her dream, and a human-interest piece about an alumnus doing something just plain interesting. My goal, always, is to bring you a compilation of stories that, together, provide a reflection of St. Edward’s University.
As this issue started coming together, I noticed a theme emerging. Three of our features are stories about people sharing something — advice, money, expertise, talent — to make someone else’s life better.
Our cover story shares seven pieces of advice (and we’ve got more online) professors have passed onto their student mentees. All of the advice is good, but the stories behind the advice are great.
We also bring you the story of Samir Ashrawi ’77, MBA ’93, who grew up outside of Jerusalem. He always dreamed of earning a college degree, but it took a chance encounter with a woman from Austin to make that dream a reality. She had a profound impact on the course of his life, and the story of how the two became lifelong friends is heartwarming.
This issue also contains a piece on Assistant Professor of Business Gary Pletcher, who has set aside his personal comfort and safety on repeated trips to Honduras (it’s the murder capital of the world) to help eradicate poverty in the country’s remote villages. He’s helping aspiring entrepreneurs get microloans.
And finally, we have a story about a building that’s making a difference. In August, the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center–South opened to students. Science has never looked so good. (In our Web Extras, check out the slideshow of the new Munday Library. It also opened to students at the start of the fall semester.)
We didn’t set out to build this issue around a theme, but as it turns out, all of the features recount stories of students, professors and alumni (and even a building) making a difference for others. I have to say that I’m not really surprised. St. Edward’s is the type of place where people go out of their way to help others each and every day.