Campus Life Giving Opportunities
<b>R. Bruce Poynter Endowment</b>
To celebrate former university chaplain and administrator Rev. Bruce Poynter's contributions to American University, an endowment has been established to advance the work and ministry of the Kay Spiritual Life Center. For generations, students' search for meaning and purpose has drawn them to the faith communities housed in the Kay Center. Over the years, university chaplains have responded by developing opportunities for worship, study, self-discovery, ethical reflection, small group encounters, contemplative retreats, and service to the community. The R. Bruce Poynter Endowment insures that these important programs are perpetuated for future generations of students.
The endowment supports activities that probe the deeper spiritual yearnings of students and nurtures discussion of the deeper moral implications of the great social and political issues of the day. These activities include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following programs:
Annual R. Bruce Poynter Lecture Series. The series features lecturers whose academic research and daily actions bear witness to the search for a more just and merciful world. Special attention will be given to those whose scholarly contributions give expression to new paths of self-discovery and growth within the new global paradigm.
Great Advocates. Defenders of human rights from around the world recognize the urgency of bringing their messages to policy makers in Washington, DC. AU's strategic location provides an excellent opportunity to introduce students and faculty to these brave advocates. The Kay Center provides a forum for them to share their struggles, hopes, and dreams. Under the rubric of "Great Advocates Series," people of singular courage who have confronted tyrannies in their own countries are invited to the university to share their stories.
Alternative Spring Breaks. Students seeking a broader encounter with the world are invited to participate in a variety of national and international mission opportunities organized by the university chaplain in association with the student-led Community Action and Social Justice project. Students who feel called to give something back to impoverished communities will work at sites in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. These brief immersions with the poor often lead to transformational experiences as students confront in new ways the reality of their lives. The endowment opens these opportunities to students, regardless of their financial circumstances.
Table Talk. Rev. Poynter instituted Table Talk over three decades ago. Since then, the forum has become an integral and vital part of the Kay Center's outreach to the campus community. These monthly luncheon discussions are designed to create an informal setting for students to ponder the ethical implications of major issues confronting the university, the city, and the nation. Speakers, often of national prominence, engage students in lively exchanges on topics ranging from the death penalty to debt relief for poor countries. The endowment ensures the perpetuation of Rev. Poynter's legacy.