In the wake of recent happenings across the globe, dwelling on negative aspects of humanity can be easy to do. But, as Luther College prepares for Homecoming 2017, it's worthwhile to recognize the worth of such an event because it furnishes space for alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college to come together as a community and reflect on the past, enjoy the present and look to the future. During the three-day span from Friday, Oct. 6, to Sunday, Oct. 8, the Schedule of Events consists of lectures, performances, games, dinners and receptions.
Granted, as a professor my capacity during Homecoming is much different than, say, a person from the class of 1967 celebrating their 50-year reunion or a person from the class of 2017 returning to campus for the first time since graduation. Nevertheless, as a professor I get to run into a student from my first Paideia class or I get to meet the parents of a student in my current Concepts of Media Production course. For me, these one-on-one interactions, and the exchange of ideas that go along with them, matter so very much, particularly if our goal as human beings, and as a college, is to serve with distinction for the common good.
My hope is that such a goal is yours and that Homecoming 2017 finds you celebrating the positive aspects of humanity, yet not losing sight of the challenging work that we all must undertake if we are to confront a changing society and transform it for the betterment of people of all backgrounds.
Thomas C. Johnson, Luther associate professor of Communication Studies, has taught critical media studies and media production courses at Luther since 2011. Along with teaching, his research interests include pedagogy, sport media, television studies, gender studies and documentary film.