Road Trip to Franciscan University

USF Philosophy Students Jordan Lammers, Matthew Schmitz, and Nicole Rudolph in the Bonaventure Workshop Auditorium Space

Bonaventure Workshop

Three students in Dr. Lewis Pearson’s medieval philosophy class took a road trip to Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH to attend the Bonaventure Workshop.  The workshop consisted primarily of plenary addresses given by:

  • Fr. Dan Pattee, TOR (Associate Professor of Theology and Director of Mission and Franciscan Charism at Franciscan University),
  • Dr. Jay Hammond (Associate Professor of Medieval Christianity at St. Louis University) and
  • Dr. Timothy Noone (Ordinary Professor and the Father Kurt Pritzl, OP, Chair in Philosophy at The Catholic University of America).

The workshop concluded with a panel discussion hosted by Dr. Kimberly Georgedes (Professor of History and Chair of the Anthropology and History Departments at Franciscan University).

Panel, Timothy Noone, Fr. Dan Pattee, Jay Hammond

Panel Discussion with Timothy Noone, Fr. Dan Pattee, and Jay Hammond, hosted by Kimberly Georgedes

Student Highlights

Some of the extra-curricular highlights for the students included:

  • being invited to lunch and conversation with the plenary speakers,
  • attending mass for the Feast of the Annunciation,
  • staying at the home of a Franciscan University faculty,
  • free travel and meals on the road courtesy of Dr. Lance Richey, USF’s Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
  • singing in the car, and
  • listening to some old Star Wars radio drama episodes on the ride back.

Dr. Lewis Pearson (Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Philosophy BA Program) drove the 550 mile roundtrip, and arranged their overnight stay at the home of a gracious friend and current Franciscan University professor, Dr. Brandon Dahm.

Matthew Schmitz, one of the students who went on the workshop trip, identified his favorite part of the weekend as seeing the friendship and conversation between Dr. Pearson and Dr. Dahm during their overnight stay, especially since neither professor let the presence of USF students alter the joviality—or candor!—of their conversation.  “I really enjoyed seeing that personal side, outside the classroom,” said Schmitz.

Enjoying a road trip pitstop, food paid for courtesy of Dr. Lance Richey, Dean of SOLAS

You Want It, We’ll Do It

Reflecting on how much students enjoyed the road trip and workshop, Dr. Pearson commented:

You don’t have to be enrolled in a larger program like a Notre Dame or a Purdue, or even a competing program like a Franciscan University, to take advantage of the speakers, events, and resources of these other programs.  We’ve gone to events as close as Forester Lectures at Huntington University, and as far as Purdue University and now Franciscan University to attend conferences and workshops, learning from topflight guest speakers from all over the country.  Last year, we sent two students to a conference on marriage and family at Brigham Young University in Utah.  We love doing things like this:  fun travel, edifying experiences.  These sorts of trips give our students the chance to meet world renowned scholars, some of whom have written the books we read in our classes.  We’re also thankful for a gracious administration that has, so far, funded our trips so that typically they have been little to no cost to our students.  If there is an event, or conference, or speaker, or even a library or other resource that a USF student would like to experience, please let us know!  We’ll make it happen!”

USF Philosophy Students with one of the Plenary Speakers, Dr. Timothy Noone