Nearly 50 students from The University of Southern Mississippi and
15 other institutions across several states will kick off a second
"European Semester in France" Saturday with an official
ceremony at the historic abbey where the program is taking place.
an understanding of the shared values of home, hearth, health, individual
self-esteem and social democracy that have long undergirded our
common bond even in times when the affairs of the world have
threatened to create temporary chasms of misunderstanding and disagreement,"
Dr. Tim Hudson, Southern Miss Gulf Coast provost, said in remarks
prepared for delivery during a special convocation at the 1,000-year-old
Benedictine abbey at Pontlevoy.
to participate in the ceremony were Pontlevoy Mayor Christian Goemaere;
state College Board member Scott Ross of West Point; former French
Ambassador Georges-Marie Chenu, who attended school at the abbey
some 60 years ago; Dr. Doug Mackman, Southern Miss associate professor
of history and director of the Abbey Program; and Camille Millet
of the Southern Miss staff at Pontlevoy, who is involved in developing
community service and service-learning activities in the region
for U.S. students and faculty.
students will participate in the 2003 spring semester version of
a study-abroad program that was launched last fall by Southern Miss's
College of International and Continuing Education. Faculty members
are drawn from Southern Miss and a cross section of other institutions
of higher learning. Southern Miss heads a consortium of 14 institutions
that participate in the Abbey Program.
it will be nice to actually meet the people of Pontlevoy, who we'll
see on the streets each day," said student Mary Lesch, a participant
from the University of Kentucky.
The class will
include 17 students from Southern Miss. The remainder will come
from Midwestern University, the University of Wisconsin at River
Falls, Wayne State, University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin
at Stout, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin at Madison,
Loyola Marymount, Madonna, Mississippi University for Women, Mary
Washington College, Ohio State University, Roger Williams, University
of California at Santa Clara and University of Missouri at Kansas
looking forward to another terrific semester at the abbey,"
said Susan Steen, Southern Miss director of international programs.
"Participants in the inaugural semester of the Abbey Program
last fall described the experience as magical' and life-changing.'
We believe our current students will find their program equally
rewarding, and we look forward to hearing about their experiences."
students participating in the program are matched with host families
during their stay and also will experience a week of intensive study
in Paris. Pontlevoy is located in the heart of the french chateaux
and wine country known as the Loire Valley, just over an hour's
drive from Paris.
have another opportunity for travel at the mid-semester break when
they visit other European countries that provide resources for their
study. Steen said the Abbey Program is based on the American model
of university instruction, but with a European focus. Courses are
taught in English, with the exception of French language courses
taught by French natives.
Abbey was begun in 1034. Other buildings on the grounds recently
have been adapted for instruction and housing of students with the
aid of a $1 million grant from the provincial French government.
During an opening ceremony last fall, local townspeople repeatedly
expressed their pleasure that the historic landmark has been renovated
and brought back to life for the Southern Miss study-abroad program.
wise to be here," Hudson, a Purvis native and former dean of
the Southern Miss College of International and Continuing Education,
told students assembled for the Pontlevoy convocation in his prepared
address. "Those of us who cherish your odyssey send you into
the abbey and indeed into this great continent with this admonition:
history will judge us all not by the nations we vanquish, or the
technology we create, or the wealth we amass, but by the successes
of our citizen diplomats."