During fall break, Honors Guild students attended the annual Intercollegiate Colloquium on liberal arts at Grove City College.
The colloquium was a three-day event filled with breakout sessions, featuring speakers and chances to grow in community with other Christian liberal arts students who attended.
This year’s colloquium’s theme was friendship. The discussions focused on four subjections of friendship: friendship in antiquity, biblical times, modern times and art.
The honors students were given a reading list that included the following: “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J. R. R. Tolkien, selections about “Frog and Toad” by Arnold Lobel, “The Half-Friend” by Petrus Alphonsi and more. Each breakout session centered around one of the readings.
Elizabeth Parker, assistant director of honors and assistant professor of english, led the trip, which Honors Guild students Micah Cameron, Kate Mikels, Lydia Channell, Danielle Pritchard and Caroline Sutter attended.
The group left Taylor Thursday evening, Oct. 12, and arrived at Grove City College a few hours later where their host greeted them. Students of Grove City also attended the colloquium.
Friday morning, students had free time, which included opportunities to participate in classes, complete homework or spend time with other students. That evening, “Session 1: Friendship in the Classical Era” was held. Afterward, the honors students had more free time, during which some attended Grove City College’s Fall Orchestra Concert.
The schedule for Saturday had multiple breakout sessions including: “Session 2 on Biblical, Medieval and Renaissance Friendship” and “Session 3 on Modern Friendship” (which Parker led). In the afternoon, a keynote speaker, David DiQuattro, from Stetson University, spoke on “Friendship and the Practices that Sustain Intellectual Life.” Session 4, “Friendship and the Arts,” and Session 5, “Faculty Roundtable,” were held later in the day.
Sunday morning, the group returned to Taylor with still another day left of fall break before resuming classes.
The Colloquium was started and is currently led by Andew Mitchell, associate professor of history at Grove City College.
Parker learned that Mitchell had reached out to Taylor in the past, offering students an opportunity to go. However, at the time Taylor was not able to send students to the Colloquium. So, when Parker reached out to Mitchell about attending with some Taylor students this year, he was thrilled.
Parker felt this colloquium would greatly benefit the students after seeing how it did so for the students at the previous institution she worked at, Regent University.
It shows students the different ways in which schools maintain their honors programs, is spiritually fulfilling and teaches students professionalism because the colloquium is treated as a professional conference, she said.
“I’m hoping that we’ll do it every year and it’ll become a tradition for the Honors Guild students,” Parker said.
Lydia Channell, a junior English major, attended the colloquium. She loved classroom settings and discussions, especially with the focus on literary texts, so she gladly volunteered for the trip.
The variety of backgrounds of students attending the same event appealed to her.
”I just love everything that gets in a discussion with people from different places of different ages,” Channell said.
Channell believed she benefited from attending because while many there were Christian college students, they weren’t all from Taylor. She appreciated being in a setting with those who held the same beliefs but were on different journeys when it came to schooling, location and opportunities.
Channell’s favorite part was the discussion on modern friendship (session 3), which involved talking about the reading assignment on “Frog and Toad.” She loved this story and greatly enjoyed being able to study it for academic purposes.
The colloquium was very enjoyable due to the hospitality of both Mitchell and the students of the Grove City honors program, Lux Mea, Parker said.
“A lot of the Grove City students really welcomed our students, tried to eat with them, helped them find their way around campus, invited them to classes with them, hung out at these various recreational options,” Parker said.
Parker’s hope is that people see the value in the colloquium and many more wish to go next year.