New alumni called to practice intellectual hospitality
The spiritual and the intellectual are both necessary to life, graduates were told during commencement ceremonies May 7 at Fresno Pacific University. "It will always be important to analyze data carefully, to evaluate critically where information comes from, to rely on original sources and to compare one's understandings with friends and colleagues — and to do all this with Christian humility, with intellectual hospitality," speaker Rod Janzen told 299 graduates, their families and friends.
The 2005 spring commencement took place in the Special Events Center (SEC). Graduation for Fresno Pacific College, the traditional undergraduate program, began at 10 a.m. and involved 166 students. The Fresno Pacific Graduate School and Center for Degree Completion (CDC) commencement was at 3:30 p.m. and honored 64 graduate school and 69 CDC graduates.
Janzen is the university's first distinguished scholar, dividing his time between teaching and research. His publications include the books The Rise and Fall of Synanon: A California Utopia and The Prairie People: Forgotten Anabaptists. He teaches graduate education courses and undergraduate history and social science courses. Janzen has an Ed. D. from the University of Southern California, a master's from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a bachelor's from FPU.
The title of Janzen's speech was "Critical Thought and Intellectual Hospitality," and his Scripture passage was James 2:14-20. Intellectual hospitality comes from honest conversations — in the classroom, dorm room or coffee shop — with those who hold different views. It is the opposite of what Old Testament Scholar Perry Yoder calls "The Caveman Game," according to Janzen, "where you take a few verses from the Bible, or any important book, interpret the words in a particular way and then pound your opponent over the head."
Brandie Daher and Alicia Richards received Academic Achievement awards and Jennifer McCarty was named Outstanding Graduate. Jennifer Romero, a degree-completion student who died in December after a short illness, received the Meritorious Service Award. Stacy Hammons, sociology faculty, was honored with the Nickel Excellence in Teaching Award.