Welcome to “the 45th Renewal: Johnston at Home and in the World.” We can’t believe it, but the next renewal (once known as a ‘reunion’) is less than a year away! Since early 2011, we’ve built a strong foundation for planning this exciting event through committee meetings, brainstorming sessions, and networking with alumni from across the decades. All of this work will come together on President’s Day Weekend, 2014, during three days of celebrating with friends, storytelling, community building, breaking bread, remembering, learning, dancing, and of course, renewing.
Why “Johnston at Home?”
After 45 years, the Johnston Center remains a vibrant and happening place for living and learning. On a recent visit, we were greeted with a tie-dying project for Spring GYST on the front lawn, storytelling on the porch, morning coffee with fresh baked blueberry muffins from the “Daytime Java” Coffeehouse in Bekins lobby, and a rambunctious camping trip headed to Joshua Tree. We also witnessed first-year students thriving in their interdisciplinary studies, sophomores negotiating graduation contracts, juniors sharing stories with classmates from their semesters abroad around the world, and seniors co-teaching classes and completing final projects. The Johnston Center of 2013 is reason enough to celebrate.
Why “Johnston in the World?”
The Johnston Center has quite clearly become an epicenter at the University of Redlands for innovative teaching, engaging students and modeling what higher education can be as a living and learning environment. Similarly, for the past 45 years, Johnston alumni have taken this experience into their personal and professional lives, using the skill sets, perspectives, and understandings they gained at Johnston to make their communities better places. We are bold enough to claim that Johnston is now becoming an epicenter in the world for a better way to live and interact as human beings. That deserves ample celebration.
And simultaneously, Johnston has expanded into the world explicitly as Johnston, beyond the structures of Bekins, Holt, and the Orton Center. Since the 40th Renewal in 2009, alumni have come together for community dinners (Buffalo Grazes), service projects, academic seminars, museum field trips, collaborative art and writing projects, conference presentations, and for socializing. From Austin to Denver to Chicago, from Portland to New York, from Oaxaca to Salzburg to the Philippines, the Johnston Alumni Organization is growing, expanding, and inspiring life-long community membership. We are celebrating Johnston everywhere.
So, we hope our weekend together on February 14th through the 16th provides a reunion and
. . . a Renewal of Commitment
towards the growing alumni organization and the honoring of the effect Johnston has had on our personal and professional lives,
. . . a Personal Renewal
as the weekend offers opportunities to engage your mind, heart, and spirit (and your body when you join us for dancing around the fire pit or grooving out to Johnston bands),
. . . a Community Renewal
as we renew old friendships, create new friendships, and (as said by Nina Fernando ‘11) “celebrate Johnston for what it was, what it is, and what it will be.”
Your Renewal Co-Chairs,
Morgan Chicarelli (‘05) and Matt Gray (’05)