Celebrate Spirit! lecture tonight, more events set for Thursday

UDM students, faculty and staff are all welcome to attend “Celebrate Spirit!” tomorrow, Sept. 11.

Festivities will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a mass of the Holy Spirit led by the Rev. Simon Hendry, S.J., in historic Calihan Hall.

This year’s event also happens to be on 9/11, which was taken into consideration during planning.

“We wanted to find a way to address that day as a day of sadness but not beat people over the head with it,” said Dave Nantais, director of Campus Ministry.

The theme of this year’s Celebrate Spirit! is “Reflect. Imagine. Transform” and the CLAE humanities department, which is sponsoring the event along with Campus Ministry and the Jesuit and Mercy communities, was key in putting that theme together. 

“The next step was, ‘Well, we need a speaker who can address the imagination theme, plus the fact that it’s 9/11 plus the fact that we’re trying to celebrate our university and its mission’,” said Nantais.

Dr. Achmat Salie, director of Islamic Studies, had someone in mind, a woman he met at a World Peace Conference, Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz.

Keshavarz, from the University of Maryland, is a published poet in Persian and English. She’s also a recipient of the Peabody Award and the Herschel Walker Peace and Justice Award.

Nantais described Keshavarz as a spiritual person and the perfect person to tie everything together.

Keshavarz will also be giving a lecture at 7 p.m. tonight, Sept. 10, in the Fountain Lounge.

2014 marks the 15th year of Celebrate Spirit!, and with more and more student involvement, it may be the biggest one yet.

All students who attend will receive a raffle ticket upon leaving Calihan Hall.

The Student Life Office has several prizes including gift cards and a grand prize of an iPad.

Campus Ministry will also be raffling an Alternative Spring Break trip.

There will also be a picnic as well as a student organization fair following Celebrate Spirit! by the fountain from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.