I write this post from my kitchen counter in Irving, Texas. My wife, the lovely Karla, and I are enjoying a quiet lunch at home. I have just returned from noon mass, ironically at the chapel of another small Catholic liberal arts college nearby. Our children are out for the day finishing a week of arts and crafts at a day camp. After a very busy year filled with plenty of insanity, unexpected cross-country travel, entertaining friends, activities for the kids, changing jobs, and so on and so forth; my wife and I have a rare afternoon to ourselves. Alone.
And we choose to spend it like this…
I am looking at some pictures in another tab on my laptop. It’s a flashback of sorts. Google reminds me frequently of what I did “on this day” last year. The pictures are filled with Christendom alumni. I cannot believe it’s been a year.
Those of you who followed the progress of last summer’s Grill’n & Chill’n Tour were part of something incredibly special. Whether you hosted an event, attended an event, or simply read about the road trip, you took part in the beginnings of Christendom’s alumni outreach endeavor. Throughout the eight weeks of driving (not to mention the few months of planning and the decompression afterward) I was keenly aware not only of the unique place in the life of the college this moment in time would be but also of my own privilege in being able to take part and, for better or worse, to be its scribe. Keep in mind I am an alumnus almost by default having attended Christendom for one solitary semester. For me, this was a big deal and an opportunity I did not want to squander.
But summer faded all too soon. Autumn saw a series of Alumni Advisory Council meetings wherein the future of this outreach was discussed. All the data pointed to the fact that you, our wonderful alumni, wanted this to continue in one form or another. And so now, we launch in earnest the Alumni Portal! Take a look around. Get a feel for the site. Lots of new features beyond just the musings of yours truly (though my blog posts will continue).
As we launch this operation together I want to ask each of you who are reading to offer a prayer. First, pray for the Church. It’s always a good idea. Second, pray for one another. Pray for those among us who may be ill or in need; for those who are lost; for those who have forgotten their faith or who struggle. Pray for those loved ones who have journeyed home to God and may still need our prayers to embark upon the final stretch. Pray for each other. And finally, pray for Christendom College. Pray for the current students and faculty. Pray for the young men and women currently considering whether Christendom is right for them (hint: it IS). Pray for the admissions team, the advancement folks, the kitchen staff, the grounds crew. Those for whom you pray in this moment will be those who pray for you when you need it most.
So there’s the “prayer” part of the title. Here’s the “plea”. I ask you all to make use of this portal. Bookmark us. Better yet, make it a homepage. Mike Hichborn won’t mind if you swap us out with Lepanto, trust me… We ask that you visit us daily and give us your feedback. From job postings to keeping your information current, we hope we’ve made this page what you told us you wanted. Sure it’s a work in progress but we know you’ll continue to direct us in making it ever more stellar. If nothing else, stop in for the prayer requests. If you have suggestions for weekly topics to be covered by me in the blog posts, let me know. I am not the only blogger within this portal though I will have a recurring feature; but I do seek your input for the content of my portion. Help us out and help keep this effort going strong. An alumni council can only ever be as strong as the alumni base empowering it. Remember, this “portal” is a work in progress insofar as it is our first iteration. We hope to be able to include ALL of the things you’ve asked for like career development opportunities and a full alumni directory. That will come as we ultimately migrate to a password-protected site. But for now; let us hear from you! If you’re a lawyer, a stay-at-home mom, a doctor, a teacher (there are quite a few of us), an actuary, a broadcaster… Have you blogged before? Can you write? We are interested in running features and we know that many of you have much you could offer. Email Karla, Vince, or me and let us get you started. Also, don’t forget to tag us in your Instagram posts and to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Now that I’ve given you a few things to chew on, I shall return to my coffee which appears to have gone cold. Oh, the sacrifices I make for you wonderful people. Anyway, I kind of like iced coffee.