A thunderous ovation after the opening song Somewhere Over the Rainbow provided an energetic start to the 2015 Convocation ceremony, held once again inside the Bastyr University Chapel in Kenmore, Washington. The heartfelt rendition performed by Pastor Patrinell Wright, founder of Total Experience Gospel Choir, kicked off the official start to the new academic year and was followed by an inspiring welcome message from new Bastyr University President, Charles “Mac” Powell, PhD.
Dr. Powell relayed a story from his days as a clinician, in which two patients who were at odds with one another were asked to participate in an exercise where they were to just look at each other and think positive thoughts about the other person. By the end of the exercise, the pair left holding hands. His point? The power of positivity and kindness can overcome most obstacles.
To that end, Dr. Powell referenced a quote from author Henry James “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” He encouraged the full house in attendance to follow that advice and reminded students, faculty and staff that the world needs Bastyr because it helps train graduates who will treat the whole person and understand the mind, body and spirit are all connected.
The convocation then moved onto a traditional candle-lighting ceremony during Pastor Wright’s rendition of This Little Light of Mine, as the lights dimmed and candles lit up the room representing, the minds, hearts and souls of Bastyr. It was an uplifting finish to an energizing start of the new academic year.
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