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Campus News

Garden House generates more media buzz: A reporter from the Chicago Tribune recently visited campus to write a story about MC’s Garden House and the college’s Educational Garden. The first few paragraphs of the story are printed here. To read the full article, which is titled “College students cultivate a sustainable lifestyle,” go to “When a group of students at tiny Monmouth College sat down for dinner on a recent weekday night, there was very little that resembled a typical college meal. The menu included potato soup seasoned with oregano and thyme grown in their backyard; homemade bread topped with pear butter they canned in the fall; and apple crisp sweetened with honey from their beehives. At a time when colleges across the country are focusing on sustainability, the Monmouth students are immersed in it every day. They live in the college-owned Garden House and work a half-acre of land and greenhouse in their backyard. There are garden beds for about 20 vegetables, a berry patch, grape arbor, circular herb garden, seven beehives and 16 fruit trees. …”

Nishioka to speak at baccalaureate service: Each year, Monmouth College honors its Presbyterian heritage by beginning Commencement Weekend with a traditional baccalaureate service. The ceremony will be held on May 11 at 3 p.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. “Baccalaureate is a worship service of thanksgiving and sending for our graduating seniors,” explained MC’s chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Teri Ott, who plans and prepares for the service throughout the year with a committee of senior students. This year’s baccalaureate speaker is Dr. Rodger Nishioka, who holds the Benton Family chair in Christian education as an associate professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga.  He is also one of the most sought-after and inspiring preachers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Pete Lipinksi, a senior from Western Springs, has heard Nishioka speak and was impressed. “I thought that he was inspirational through his ability to address the different backgrounds that were present within the group and for his enthusiasm while speaking. He was thought-provoking in a way that enabled me to see all sides of the big picture regarding religion and spirituality.”

ASB focuses efforts on Monmouth: MC students are exposed to the local community in a variety of ways, most notably through the capstone course in citizenship they take in their senior year. Five students experienced another example of local citizenship last month, taking part in an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program in their own backyard. “It’s nice sometimes to take our resources and put them back into the community while getting to know our neighbors a little better,” said the Rev. Dr. Teri Ott, MC’s chaplain, who along with Billy Bernard, assistant director of Greek life, leadership and involvement, led this year’s ASB. “Sometimes our students don’t realize our neighbors are not as well off as they are in college.” From March 8 through 13, the group worked at a trailer park off Sunnylane Drive on the west side of Monmouth, doing such projects as laying a new floor and installing a ceiling fan, which was the tenant’s “dream” addition to her home. They also helped with Strom Center’s thrift shop and with its Meals on Wheels program. Next year, ASB will return to its tradition of leaving the area. Her husband, faculty member Dan Ott, will lead a 10-student trip to the Mexican-U.S. border in Arizona to study immigration issues.

Chorale performs at Carnegoe Hall: Members of Monmouth College’s Chorale performed a concert in world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of their 2013 tour. For the Carnegie Hall concert on March 25, the choir performed Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles, including singers from Knox College, the Galesburg Community Chorus, singers from St. Ambrose University and the Wicker Park Choral Singers. The Carnegie Hall concert is presented by Manhattan Concert Productions. Monmouth’s 34-member choir is directed by assistant professor of music Tim Pahel, MC's director of choral activities. The choir also performed a separate program on March 22 at 7 p.m. at Manhattan’s exclusive 3 West Club. “We sang selections that we performed on campus and that we recorded on our CD,” said Pahel. “It was the first time in about 12 years that a professional-quality CD has been recorded by the Chorale. … I am excited about this unique and historic collaboration between Knox and Monmouth Colleges. This is the first time that our choirs have combined, that I know of.”

Carlson ’10 awarded a Fulbright in music: Kurt Carlson ’10 has been awarded a Fulbright in music, which he will begin after completing his master’s degree in music history at Butler University. Through the University of Vienna, Carlson will conduct research on 18th-century composer Paul Wranitzky and the First Viennese School. Carlson’s work will include searching for Wranitzky’s letters in the many archives in Vienna, as well as the Masonic archives at Schloss Rosenau and some of the Czech holdings in Prague. He also will attempt to produce some new critical editions of Wranitzky’s symphonies, especially those that have yet to been performed. “I hope that after this research and time spent working on the same project for a dissertation, I will have enough new information to write the first definitive monograph on Paul Wranitzky,” said Carlson, who also will be teaching in a secondary school in Vienna during his year there. Carlson said he became interested in Wranitzky when, pondering a topic for an undergraduate thesis, he decided to trace how certain composers reacted to the cultural and political climate of their given moment in history. Following the year abroad, Carlson will attend Florida State University for his Ph.D.