“Keeping the faith” brings back memories
Thank you for the “Keeping the faith” cover story by Katie Hamill ‘08 in your summer issue. The Newman Center was a large part of my Bradley experience, as was Campus Crusade for Christ. It was nice to be brought up to speed on those and the others. While for some the college years may be a time of withdrawal from organized religion, for others it is a period of maturing faith, deeper questions, and need for a familiar faith community. Those who organize and maintain these faith-related “homes away from home” at Bradley and elsewhere do the students a great service, and it was good to see them recognized. I might also add that now, as a parent of a daughter off to college this fall, the presence of a Newman Center on campus was always a plus during our search.
Thanks again for recognizing this important aspect of student life.
Tom Dermody ‘79
I was delighted to read about the current interest in campus religious organizations in your summer issue. As a Bradley student in the late 1960s who lived at home in Peoria, my primary tie to the campus was through the Chi Rho house, across from Williams Hall. The campus minister was the Rev. Perry Tudor, a Presbyterian minister.
The upper story of the Chi Rho house was a small apartment. It was occupied by different seminary students serving as campus ministry interns along with their spouses. They provided a 24-hour-a-day presence while learning firsthand about ministry to and with college students. They were all wonderful people who influenced my own spiritual journey.
The activities of this ecumenical Protestant campus ministry were many and varied. There were Bible studies, prayer groups, and something called “sensitivity training” (or “T-Groups”). The facility provided space to hang out, read thought-provoking periodicals of various theological persuasions, play a game of table tennis, or meet for informal Sunday suppers.
The most exciting part of the Chi Rho House was the basement! We students spent a long time converting it into a coffee house. It was a popular nightspot on Fridays and Saturdays, providing a venue for talented vocalists (it was the era of the “folk song”) and instrumentalists. Friday nights featured different speakers, many of whom were professors. It was fun to engage them outside the classroom. Their presentations were sometimes controversial given the turbulence of the times, and discussions were lively and even heated on occasion. One popular speaker was Dr. Brendan Liddell of the philosophy department who never failed to draw a crowd or provoke debate.
I am sorry to say that the Chi Rho house and its ministry fell victim to a lack of funding quite a few years ago. It was a vital influence in my life, apart from which I would not have gone on to receive my seminary education. That led to my subsequent ordination as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and service to congregations in New Mexico, Oregon, California, Illinois, and currently Michigan.
Rev. William C. Koch ’70
I was delighted to see the Bradley Hilltopics Summer 2007 magazine cover “Keeping the faith,” and then dismayed that Bradley Christian Fellowship (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) was not listed. It was a major part of my Bradley experience from 1974-1978 and one of my friends then, Jim Irwin ‘80 MSE ‘81, is now a professor in the engineering department at Bradley. I believe the group is still active.
Ellen Harrington Bachman ‘78
Editor’s note: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship emphasizes prayer, fellowship, and Bible study while promoting an evangelistic lifestyle and an understanding of the missionary field. Visit bradleyiv.com for more information. Another Christian organization, Sigma Theta Epsilon, participates in service projects, provides social activities through service and brotherhood, and guidance to Christian living. In addition, Kappa Phi focuses on Bible study, worship, sisterhood, and positive action through service.
Who needs ClassNotes?
This is an idea for your consideration. The current issue of Bradley Hilltopics has 19 percent of its pages devoted to ClassNotes and 12 percent to InMemory. For the most part, those people who know someone mentioned, will know directly about the event. Those 10 pages—31 percent—are a redundancy.
The idea is to use those pages for topics that cover a vast range of subjects that would fall under the heading of continuing education, learning, and creativity that will enrich the readers’ lives. What is going on at Bradley is not one of those topics. Some of the professors could use another article, for example. We live in exciting, fast-changing times, and Hilltopics could play a role in helping its readers.
Wally Zellmer ‘62
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