"Courage is found in unlikely places." That's a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, and it's a quote I thought of often while preparing this issue to go to press. So many of the stories in this issue, I recognize, reveal unlikely sources of courage and bravery.
This past spring, our theater students staged Dead Man Walking, a powerful play about capital punishment, based on the work of Sister Helen Prejean. The famous nun visited campus and met the cast members, inspiring them with the story of her unlikely route into activism and her fiery spirit and conviction.
Despite being informed about how difficult it would be to win, chemistry student Katie Schutt '14 applied for a Goldwater Scholarship, the most competitive undergraduate scholarship available - and she won. Her story is found here.
In our story about the student-run hunger relief program Baked Love, our students recount how they took on the issue of food waste in our society and turned it into a program to feed and nurture those who need it. Andre Garant '91 recounts his personal evolution when he put his discomfort with unfamiliar Appalachian surroundings behind him and faced the challenge of helping the less fortunate in Kentucky during a life-changing service trip after graduation.
And then, most profoundly, our feature has a theme of courage running through it: Declan McCabe's courage to pursue his love of biology through his life, starting as a small boy in Ireland; the Edmundites in the 1940s in England, terrified of the Blitz and its destruction of their parish in Whiddon, but brave enough to rebuild and support the shattered families.
Courage manifests itself not just in these pages, on campus, and in the lives of Saint Michael's alumni, daily. As an institute with a profound history of service and social justice, it should be no other way. It is that part of the nature of Saint Michael's that makes me most proud. +
- Caroline Crawford, Editor