Summer at the Seminary
July 19, 2007
It's summer at the seminary. Professors show up in shorts. Some go away for vacation and come back with new beards. As July moves along the last of the summer classes come to an end. Occasional alumni pass through and stop to say hello on their way to or from the kinfolks or Mt. Rushmore. We pass into a kind of anticipatory mode. A series of mostly unspoken questions seem to dominate these summer days.
How many new students will we have in the fall? (Bryce always refuses to say. He knows by now that strange and sometimes wonderful things happen between July and August.)
Will all our old students return? (Almost all do. Things do happen, but all in all we have a really good record of retention.)
How are the new faculty settling in? (By this time everybody's in town, though by no means all of the boxes are unpacked. They're finding their offices, going through orientation, ordering their spiffy new Sioux Falls Seminary logoware. This Saturday night the faculty will have a party at the President's house to welcome them aboard. As Dean, I couldn't be more impressed with these folks. What a gift they will be to this ministry!)
What will this new academic year hold? (Lots of firsts. For the first time in more than fifty years, we'll start the school year with a new name. Gary, Vladimir, Rhoda and Susan will be installed as members of the faculty. Philip will be on sabbatical all year. Ted goes on sabbatical?not his first--in January. We'll appear on the "approved" list for the education of United Methodist students. We'll host the national meeting of the Native American Institute for Theological Studies. In the spring, God willing, we break ground on our new building. What a great place to be, and what a great time to be here!