Campus Watch

Nobel Notoriety

KANSAS CITY STAR, Oct. 9 — Wangari Muta Maathai, the 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, says Benedictine College “touched my life so profoundly,” according to correspondence released by the school.

A native of Kenya, Maathai is founder of a popular movement to protect the environment, improve the lot of women and fight corruption in Africa.

In a recent letter, Maathai said: “On a daily basis, I saw women working hard for higher goals and inner goals.”

Maathai holds the college's medal for alumnae “who have served others significantly in the spirit of Christ.”

Is There a Problem?

THE SUN HERALD, Oct. 11 — Peggy Peterson, director of compulsory school attendance enforcement with the Mississippi Department of Education, said she fears the growing number of home-schooled children in her state may not be receiving top-quality instruction from their parents.

The Biloxi daily asked Sarah Nicholas, a representative for the state College Board, for her reaction to Peterson's claim. Nicholas said home-schooled students often score higher than public-school students on the SAT and other standardized tests.

“I don't know why,” Nicholas said. “But historically, students who are home schooled usually have exceptionally high scores on those tests.”

Mag Rejected

EXPATICA, Oct. 11 — A large number of secondary schools in Holland either refused to accept or destroyed copies of a magazine sponsored by the national educational ministry to promote tolerance of homosexuality, reported the Dutch news site.

The magazine includes interviews with celebrities about their positive impressions of homosexuality, a photo page depicting homosexual couples kissing and a “tolerance test.”

Christian schools and schools with large immigrant populations took the lead in rejecting the magazine.

100 Years

CATHOLIC NEW YORK, October — It's an honor usually reserved for the national colors of visiting dignitaries or those of winning World Series teams, but New York's Empire State building was recently bathed in the blue and white colors of the College of New Rochelle.

The accolade was part of the conclusion of centenary celebrations for the school founded just north of the city by the Ursuline Sisters in 1904.

A mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral was also celebrated by Cardinal Edward Egan, who received the college's Centennial Medal in hour of his commitment to education.

Campus Church

THE TABLET, Oct. 15 — For the first time in its 135-year history, New York's St. John's University has a free-standing church on its main campus in Queens, reported the newspaper of the Brooklyn Diocese.

The new St. Thomas More Church was dedicated by Brooklyn Bishop Thomas DiMarzio in the company of the Vincentian priests who staff the university.

The church's construction was funded through a gift from alumnus John Brennan.

Largest Ever

CHICAGO SUN TIMES, Oct. 21 — Josephinum Academy, a small, all-girls Catholic high school that serves a low-income population, received a $2.25 million anonymous donation thought to be the largest donation to a Catholic girls school in the Chicago area.

The gift, which came from the estate of a woman who had supported several Catholic institutions, will be used primarily for the endowment fund.

Run by the Sisters of Christian Charity and the Religious of the Sacred Heart, the school sees almost 100% of its students accepted to college.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.