UCM INTERN APPRECIATION DINNER
Front and L-R: Jennifer Kelly (Office Manager), Anna-Kaye Rowe, Lacee McKinney, Kathryn Bublitz, Rev. Evan Young (Campus Minister), Melissa Wales (Executive Director), Jackie Duffy, Aleks Tyler, Kelsey Gerard, Josh Baron and Kelli Wanamaker.
It is hard to believe we’re coming up to the end of another academic year. As always, it’s been exhilarating to walk with students through this transitional time in their lives as they grow spiritually, emotionally and professionally. We are grateful for all that they bring to UCM and for everything they will bring to the wider world when they leave us. Our graduating interns are Josh, Kathryn, Jackie, Carissa, Anna-Kaye and Kelli. We’ll miss you terribly, wish you all the best, and hope you keep in touch!
We kicked off Spring semester with a Candlelight Vigil for the Beloved Community at Galbraith Chapel in the wake of racist vandalism to the Black Lives Matter mural on the graffiti wall, cosponsored by the Multicultural Center. Our continued participation with the OU MLK Celebration Committee included organizing a visit from Rev. Mel Hoover on anti-racism work in faith communities. Evan was asked to lead the opening invocation at the Silent March, and Melissa helped organize a Teach-In, “Black on Campus: Then and Now” with students and alumni including President McDavis (class of ’70).
Winter (and the fact that OU’s spring break is now in early March) continues to thwart our attempts at executing a local spring break service-learning trip. We remain enthusiastic about the curriculum we’ve put together to connect students to local organizations to learn about the challenges and strengths of Appalachia, so we’re exploring the option of moving our Alternative Spring Break to the week between Spring graduation and first Summer Session. Stay tuned!
Our Better Together campaign has been busy with Campus Conversations, tabling and outreach, and planning Stories of Interfaith Bridge-Building with Peggy Gish. With continued support from Diversity and Inclusion, we sent three students to Interfaith Youth Core Leadership Institute (ILI) in Atlanta and a mini ILI in Dayton. Our final event will be our signature watershed service project with Rural Action’s Monday Creek Restoration Project.
We were pleased to host representatives from one of our long-time partners and supporters the Scioto Valley Presbytery in March, Rev. Peter Galbreath from Nelsonville Presbytery and lay leader Susan Dietz, lay leader from Logan Presbyterian. We shared stories of how their involvement in UCM has impacted them and why UCM remains such an important organization on campus and in the greater Athens community.
We had our Annual Meeting on April 20 with lay leaders from our 5 local supporting congregations: Athens Friends Meeting, Christ Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens and elected our 2016-17 Executive Officers: Kellea Tibbs (Chair), David Descutner (Vice Chair), Kaytlin Dawes (Treasurer) and Amanda Hobson (Secretary). We are grateful for how the community supports us and are looking forward to growing together!