The C.S. Lewis and Friends collection is developing programs to connect with current and past Taylor students and employees.
Due to current nationwide furniture shortages, there are setbacks in the timeline of getting all of the collection moved. The administrative side is moving forward though. Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Lewis Center Todd Ream is working to create an advisory board. Until then, Ream is the main person working on the project.
The main area of concern is making the content available for students, faculty and visiting researchers. The collection has been moved to the main floor of the library, with the circulating collection just past the desk.
Additionally, the Lewis Center is moving toward having thematic studies on C.S. Lewis. Their hope is to take a look at particular facets of Lewis.
A third area of expansion is aimed at engaging retired employees. Many Taylor retirees live in the Upland area and while they can go to some concerts and events, the university does not have an office designated for this.
Ream suggested that the Lewis Center could put together a connection through reading groups, interaction with students, trips and potentially funding research projects to keep former staff engaged.
Through this program the Lewis Center also wants to connect retirees with students to help them build relationships with experienced adults since current employees do not have time to connect with every student.
Lastly, the Lewis Center is also looking to develop classes related to Lewis, such as C.S. Lewis and his approach to Scripture. These courses could include large projects, or collaborating with other universities and programs.
“Those members of the advisory board I would see would include faculty from the campus, we would look for representation from the co-curricular areas, student development representation from students,” said Ream. “But also include Lewis scholars who serve on other campuses, we wouldn't want it to be too large again, probably no bigger than say 10 people, so that we get good, vibrant exchanges between people, we would want some broad representation.”
There may be Lewis related classes or incorporation into classes as soon as next fall.
Ream said that while the Lewis Center has some funding, there is not enough to cover all of the research and former employee support ideas. To support these different programs, the Lewis Center plans on working with the development office on campus and applying for grants from outside sources.