Learning never ends for graduates of Gustavus Adolphus College. On Thursday, March 14, The Office of the Provost and the Alumni Relations Department will be hosting an evening of poetry with Joyce Sutphen at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. The program will start at 7:30 p.m. with a reception before, hand at 6:30 p.m. The event will be part of a new series of lectures that will take place every semester, titled Gustavus Passion for Lifelong Learning.
The series draws its name from Gustavus’ mission statement: “The purpose of a Gustavus education is to help its students attain their full potential as persons, to develop in them a capacity and passion for lifelong learning, and to prepare them for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society.”
“We believe that Gusties are lifelong learners, and this program is targeted to fulfill that passion,” Randall Stuckey, Director of Alumni Relations, said.
The series intends to draw from the large base of Gustavus alumni currently residing in the Twin Cities by taking advantage of Gustavus’ new relationship with the American Swedish Institute.
Sutphen is expected to bring a solid turnout, thanks to her status as the Minnesota Poet Laureate.
“I am confident that an evening of poetry with Joyce Sutphen will accomplish that longer term goal of successfully kicking off the series, as well as the immediate goal of providing a wonderful evening of learning for the audience in attendance,” Provost and Dean of the College Mark Braun said.
Sutphen plans on interweaving other writer’s poetry, as well as some of her own into a lecture on the power and possibility of poetry. Attendees can expect to hear everything ranging from well-known names like Wallace Stevens and Emily Dickinson, to the translated works of Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish poet, and even a little Shakespeare.
“I tried to pick poems that I really love, ones that really mean something to me. Anything I choose to memorize, I choose because it sounds so great, or means so much, or makes me think about something in an interesting sort of way. I tried to pick a variety so that whoever is the audience won’t just hear one kind of poetry,” Sutphen said.
If the event is successful, it will continue to be scheduled once a semester. The current plan for next fall is to have a lecture on the Kennedy assassination, marking the 50th anniversary of the tragedy.
“Although nearly all speakers will be Gustavus faculty members, the topic of our November 2013 event is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and David Jones, Class of 1983, will be the presenter. He is a Kennedy Assassination Expert,” Stuckey said.
This semester’s event is open to the public, but reservations should be made through the Alumni Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-933-7511.