Stuart Center for Global Leadership
The Stuart Center for Global Leadership, which is named after LFA alumnus and Lifetime Trustee Jim Stuart ’59, is a place for students and faculty to explore options for developing a global outlook. The center offers co-curricular transformative global programs that inspire members of the LFA community to apply classroom concepts to problems in the real world.
The SCGL staff models collaborative leadership by working with global and local partners.
Initiatives for the 2017-2018 academic year include:
- 9th Grade Retreat at Camp Whitcomb Mason in Wisconsin
- Monthly round-table discussions on pressing issues with students and teachers
- Collaboration with the English Department regarding the Scholar-in-Residence program; this year's scholar is Irshad Manji, Founder and Director of the Moral Courage project
- Partnering French classes with university students from Senegal, Haiti, and Morocco.
- Setting up Skype conversations with experts on the brain for this year's HOS Symposium, the current refugee crisis, and public policy
The 2018 9th Grade Retreat was led by the Stuart Center for Global Leadership: Matt Nink, Sheeba Mays, Erin English and Ingrid Valdez. They were joined by an energetic and dynamic group of LFA faculty co-leaders: Yue Chen, Bill Dolbee, Marianela Gonzales, Kyle Koncz, Teneice Stegall, Joe Ward, Ben Wetherbee, and Debbie Witmer.
Students gathered in The Cressey Center for the Arts on Thursday, August 23 with a fair amount of trepidation. Knowing only a few students from pre-season sports, for those who participated, these freshmen filed onto their assigned bus and headed to Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Center (LUREC) in Woodstock, IL.
Upon arrival, the Class of ’22 gathered as a whole to discuss and frame our community norms. What are the values and behaviors that we want to abide by? What do we respect and appreciate as well as what has no place at LUREC and LFA? Honesty, encouraging others, inclusiveness, respect, and stepping out of comfort zone all begin to define this freshmen class as they determine what is important to them.
Students were then paired in groups with an LFA faculty member and followed their ropes course facilitator outdoors. This is where the fun truly began. Blindfold walks, teamwork challenges, games of strategy – these groups went from not knowing each other's names to needing to rely on one another to cross the ‘river’ before the sea monster ate them. Smiles abounded as the pictures show.
Evening discussions around identity and the LFA pillars allowed for important reflection time. Knowing themselves, the value they each add, and how the group will work together as a student body reinforced their earlier stated intentionality around honesty, respect and inclusivity.
Day two elevated the challenge – quite literally. Harnessed, helmeted and clipped in, the ropes groups hoisted themselves onto the high ropes course. This was a challenge by choice activity, where respecting each others’ limitations was honored. Students cheered and encouraged their classmates as they challenged themselves to reach beyond their comfort zone.
Perhaps the biggest challenge yet was getting this group of friends to remain quiet – even for one minute – as they gathered for a moment of gratitude reflection around a bonfire. Laughing and conversing – the Class of ’22 returned to LFA full of CAXY pride, grinning ear to ear letting their “Happy” shine.