March 15, 2010
At Marian, Traditions Get a Modern Twist

Marian University is sponsoring the 3rd program of IndyTalks on Mar. 18 at 7 p.m., Backyard Pundits: Public Leadership & Ethical Questions for Indiana’s Future. The event was organized by Marian’s School of Liberal Arts under the leadership of Dean James Norton III.


Tradition and heritage guide Marian University’s School of Liberal Arts in its approach to higher education and community work. The result is an institution that knows what it values and therefore knows what it needs to do.

As a Catholic and Franciscan university in Indianapolis, Marian traces its origin to the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, Indiana, who founded the university’s predecessor in 1851. Going back several centuries, the order takes its inspiration from St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), known for his love of animals and nature and for his prayers, the most famous beginning, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace….” In this spirit the School of Liberal Arts has established centers and programs that remind students and the community of key Franciscan values: dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship. 

Peace & Justice Studies Students

Marian’s Peace and Justice Studies program, directed by Dr. Ralph Leck, is bringing Eva Kor to Indianapolis. Kor–the noted holocaust survivor, public educator, founder of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum, and author of Surviving the Angel of Death and Echoes from Auschwitz–will speak at Marian University on Mar. 16, 7 pm, in Allison Mansion. The center is also organizing events for Global Peace and Justice Day on April 7.

Global Studies Interns and Pierre Atlas

The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies, directed by Dr. Pierre Atlas, sponsors a speaker series that brings in experts from around the world, a powerful internship experience in the Washington, D.C., office of Senator Lugar, and even a minor in global studies.

On March 23 the center hosts its next Global Studies speaker event, co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Series and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, on the Cuba-Indy relationship with Lynn Renner, the CRS Cuba desk person.  On April 20, the last event of the year features Allan Hubbard, former director of the National Economic Council, speaking on the US economy and its global impact. Both of these events are free and open to the public.

Historic New Harmony Labyrinth

The Franciscan love of nature was captured in a project sponsored by Marian University and funded by a grant from the Indiana Humanities Council and the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. “Indiana’s Hidden Treasures: Culturally Significant Landscapes in the Hoosier State” resulted in a brochure and a beautiful web site that serves as a guide to Indiana’s historic gardens and landscapes, one of them (Riverdale) on the Marian campus.

Dr. Karen Spear

The Center for Organizational Ethics at Marian University recently presented a panel on “Lead from the Heart: Ethical Perspectives on Servant Leadership,” featuring Dr. Kent Keith, CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership; Marcy Ripberger, President of the Character Council of Indiana; Richard W. Smith, Organizational Development Specialist and consultant to the Peace Learning Center; and the Center’s director, Karen Spear. Dr. Spear teaches Human Nature and Person in the Department of Theology and Philosophy as well as Business Ethics in the School of Business, reflecting the center’s dual mission to teach ethics across the curriculum and also reach out to the business community. Center events targeted to businesses aim to promote ethical corporate cultures and nurture the personal moral development of business leaders, managers, and employees.

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