Coming Home Newsletter
February 19, 2015
Reflections from the Chancellor
Dear Alums, These last weeks have opened something special at our School. In addition to the many rewarding experiences in the classroom and the fulfilling interchanges in the hallways and on the grounds, our community hosted an extraordinary Alumni weekend, a beautifully attended book signing, guests from Brazil and Costa Rica, and yesterday an Informations Day at the Lambert Campus that was by all accounts warmly received, mission centered, and abundant. Graced by the presence of the rain, South Hall was literally bursting at the seams with prospective students from throughout the United Sates, Mexico, and Canada. Proceeded by a Salon the night before, the weekend event was alive and vital. As we move toward the acknowledgement and celebration of our 40th anniversary year, I am reminded of what sustains Pacifica in times of global and institutional challenge. The feedback I hear day after day from current students, from alums, from prospective students, and from outside visitors is, “When I walk onto one of the campuses, I feel graciously hosted, intellectually awakened, and touched by the beauty/spirit of the place.”
Jennifer Selig’s Maladjustment
Please forgive me in advance. What you are about to read may geek out, gush, and glow. I can’t help it—I am still ablaze from the glorious “Coming Home” weekend. From the emails I’ve received in the aftermath, so too are many others who attended parts or all of the weekend.
I couldn’t attend on Saturday because I was home with new puppy duties, but I was there Friday and Sunday. For me, the highlight of Friday was being the “mistress of ceremonies” for the alumni book reading and signing event. As I introduced each fellow alum and their book title/s, I was struck by the diversity of our interests, by the range of our contributions. Fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, workbooks, children’s books—you name the genre, and we’ve written within it…
Beth Boardman: A Jubilee of Books!
Co-sponsored by the Pacifica Bookstore and PGI Alumni Association, the Alumni Authors Book Faire covered the Ladera Lane lobby in a rainbow of books. The Book Faire took place on Friday night, after a day of keynotes and breakout sessions devoted to writing and publishing. Dave Laughlin and PGIAA worked hand in hand to reach out to over 50 authors through both mail and email, to invite them to come back to Pacifica and introduce their publication(s) to the community of their peers. We were delighted with the response; twenty authors accepted the call! Several more wrote back with their support-and-regrets, and nearly all who wrote back expressed enthusiasm and excitement about the idea.
Coming Home: Impressions..
Ann Marie Fidel Rice: An Alumna Author Reflects on “Coming Home”
I loved participating in the Alumni weekend! Standing there with my book was wonderful and humbling. It is my life’s work, and the main reason I wanted it published was to help people – and from the feedback I am receiving, that goal is being met. I couldn’t have written that book without Pacifica creating such a respectful and loving container to work and complete my Ph.D. coursework!
Dave Laughlin: Brightness from the Bookstore.
In the Bookstore, one of our favorite experiences is meeting and connecting with authors. To hear from alumni who want to know if we can carry a book they have just published is always an especially exciting and fun moment to share with the author. We know that a great amount of work and years of research are poured into writing a book, and we’re honored to be able to support our alumni authors.
Annie Parry: Coming Home – Revisited
As a recovering PhD graduate, I imagine that like most alum, I am reluctant to spend more money on Pacifica – or on any further “post-grad” education and travel. In addition, my life is “full to brimming over”, (which is code for OMFG, how did I get so busy?) The prospect of spending a few days out of Canada’s winter and in Santa Barbara brought on palpitations; still, I waited until the last minute to reserve a bed and a seat at the recent 2015 PGIAA annual meeting and “Coming Home” lecture series hosted by the now-independent 501(c)3 PGI Alumni Association (PGIAA). And wow! What a terrific and rejuvenating weekend it was…
Jill Griffin: Reflections of PGIAA Weekend
The “Coming Home” alumni weekend in January was a real treat. I felt as if I had returned to the “mother ship” for a much needed recharge! Not only did I get to see some well‐loved colleagues, but I met many new and wonderful Alumni as well. Some had graduated years ago, and others only last spring. I was inspired by all of those Alumni who have published books and presented their work for us over the weekend. Just last night I finished reading Selden Edwards, “The Little Book” and completely loved it – take me to Vienna! Or have I been there already?
Beth Boardman: A Slow Miracle
Watching the unfolding of Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association’s “Coming Home” weekend was like watching the blossoming of an impossibly beautiful flower. Even those who aren’t card-carrying saps like me might have found themselves misting over a bit as one amazing scene followed another.
One can prepare a garden bed with cultivation and aeration, nutrition and irrigation, plant seeds carefully put away from the last harvest, and cover them with fresh soil. The weather can cooperate with fresh breezes and delicious temperatures. Rain can fall at just the right moment, and in just the right amount. One can never be sure how, though, or even if, what’s been planted may grow.
Robin Gordon: Learning to Speak Out Loud
Participating in the “Coming Home” event was special. The speakers were very motivating about getting our voices out in the world. [Robin is the author of Searching for the Soror Mystica: The Lives and Science of Women Alchemists, New York: Univ Press of America, 2013.]
I thought the Home Coming event for Pacifica alumni was very successful, impressively so. I was especially pleased with the day for writers. It has always seemed to me that one thing all Pacifica alums have in common is writing and the ability to explain the archetypal material, and most have a desire to be published, in some way.
Anne S. Perrah
“Coming Home” is an apt phrase to encapsulate my experience of that incredible weekend. Walking again on Pacifica’s home grounds at Ladera Lane, re-connecting and reminiscing with my Pacifica family, listening to and participating in excellent (5 star!) presentations, sharing stories and relishing “large talk” with fellow Alumni about our journeys through the birthing of a book into the world — all of these are poignant memories of my Pacifica “home-coming.” I became newly aware of the immeasurable force for good our Pacifica family truly is.
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