|President Kim Phipps moderated the Alumni Panel on Christian Vocation, which welcomed back to campus six alumni who spoke to students on vocation and faith.
Alumni inspire students with stories of their vocational journeys
Many students put undue pressure on themselves to decide on a lifelong career while they're still in school. The simple joys of exploring interests and cultivating talents get lost in the rigid plotting out of their lives. But alumni Brian Thomas '87 recently encouraged current students to consider a different approach. "Take the time to live," he says. "Enjoy the experiences that you have."
Thomas returned to campus as part of a special Alumni Panel on Christian Vocation offered in April. Organized as an alternate chapel service, the panel discussion brought back six alumni who spoke on matters of vocation, balancing work and family, the influence of faith in the workplace, and even their personal struggles in finding a vocation they love. After the program, students were able to mingle with the alumni panelists at a special reception.
An initiative of Messiah's Lilly Endowment Christian Vocation Grant, the panel included a variety of career perspectives, from pediatrics to international business to the arts.
President Kim Phipps, who moderated the evening program, encouraged the panelists to share with students how specific aspects of their Messiah experiences linked to their vocational journeys. Panelist Kandy Ferree '91, for example, noted that her career of providing services to those with HIV and AIDS started as a result of some spring break service projects in the Bronx, as well as her cross-cultural study in Philadelphia.
Several campus offices collaborated to bring the inspirational and informative evening to campus. Those who attended were treated to interesting and straightforward insights into how their experiences at Messiah College can intersect dynamically with the opportunities and needs in the world around them as they pursue their own vocational journeys.
Kandy Ferree '91, CEO of the National AIDS Fund, Washington, D.C.
Peter Greer '97, president of HOPE International, Lancaster, Pa.
Elizabeth Imboden '90, pediatrician for York Pediatric Medicine, York, Pa.
Stephen Lias '88, composer and professor of music theory and composition at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
Melinda (Fisher) Nowak '76, administrative law judge for the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, Harrisburg, Pa.
Brian Thomas '87, senior managing director for Bear Stearns & Company, New York City.
— Jonathan Vaitl ’06