Search Continues for New Annual Themes

December 1, 2010

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Voices, Maps, Heart, Power, and …

College-wide themes that will weave together academics, special events, guest presentations and more for the next two years at Mary Baldwin University will soon be chosen from suggestions by students, faculty, and staff. Mary Baldwin community members have until December 6 to brainstorm and submit a nomination form for a shot at proposing a winning topic.

“The theme gives definition to the academic year, provides a shared identity for members of the freshman class [who use it during Orientation and other activities], and helps us link our work with our colleagues’ efforts,” said Steve Grande, director of civic engagement.

The annual theme was introduced with Voices in the 2007–08 academic year as part of a recommendation by accreditors from the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Quality Enhancement Plan adopted by Mary Baldwin created many initiatives to engage the campus community. Subsequent themes were Maps (2008–09), Heart (2009–10), and this year’s motivating mantra, Power.

Successful themes connect to a “big idea,” and can be interpreted in a variety of ways, Grande said. When considering a nomination, keep in mind how it will be incorporated into multiple disciplines; make the community more mindful of a quality or subject; influence speakers, programs, and events; and generate an “eyebrow raising” response.

Six suggestions have been submitted so far, and Grande is hoping for several more to give the selection committees a wide range of choices. Staff and faculty at the Spencer Center will present a list of recommended themes for 2011–12 and 2012–13 to Mary Baldwin’s Community Council, then submit nominations to the faculty’s Education Policy Committee for a final vote.