Introduction to Ignite
From the Provost/Vice-President for Academic Affairs
Jesuit education does not and, to be true to itself, cannot take place in an ivory tower. Engagement has been a concern for Jesuit education since the establishment of the first Jesuit colleges, and the consequence of all that experience is the capacity for bold and significant action alongside the simplest and most humble efforts. The following pages show the fruits of this experience at The University of Scranton.
Most of what you will read in this issue of Ignite will be familiar to those involved with higher education. But the range of ambition in the activities chronicled runs from ordinary to the unusual. In all cases, the commitment of individuals and groups to their project is creative and extraordinary.
Following in the footsteps of early Jesuits who stayed close to Rome and those who spent a lifetime traveling to their intended destinations, what unites all these stories is the collaborative work between members of the University and others from many places in the world, from Scranton to Africa and to the East. These efforts have included high-quality seminars and lunches for local adults not seeking a degree, but fervently seeking the life of the mind, as well as a brass orchestra for regional musicians seeking a rare opportunity to perform music that would otherwise be difficult to stage. The challenge of travel and the enculturation of modern healthcare or small business practices resides in our community alongside the domestic challenge of presenting science to our own children and real-time journalism practices to our students. Whether it is a free clinic for uninsured local community members that unites us with contributions from hospitals and foundations, and with physicians and nurses, or the task of partnering with local aid agencies to provide free income tax assistance, we focus our efforts in the context of our students’ professional ambitions, their desire for service learning but, most importantly, with the Jesuit ideal of educating “men and women for and with others.”Harold W. Baillie, Ph.D. Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs