For a small school, Goshen College gets its fair share of high-profile guests.Al Roker’s visit to the college on Tuesday flooded local media outlets and brought a crowd of community members onto campus to be a part of the event.
While he didn’t stay very long, Roker’s presence on campus drew the attention of news stations from Indianapolis to the national level.
What the brief clip of on the TODAY Show didn’t say is that Roker isn’t the only acclaimed visitor who has made the choice to visit Goshen College.
GC has several venues for guest speakers and artists to come to campus, and they have a history of bringing in big names. The Performing Arts Series has featured the Peking Acrobats, Garrison Keillor, Lea Salonga, Bobby McFerrin and many others.
The Yoder Public Affairs lecture series brings award-winning guests like Simran Sethi and Mike Tidwell, and the S.A. Yoder Memorial Lecture Series has hosted authors like Seamus Heaney, Madeline L’Engle and William Stafford.
Many academic departments have structures in place to invite people who are influential in their field to come to the college and share with students and with the community, as seen in the weekly science speakers and regular Topics and Issues lecturers for the visual arts department.
Here’s my question: why Goshen?
The only answer that I have come up with so far is ‘why not Goshen?’
If nothing else, it’s true to say that Goshen—both the college and the city—works hard to build a community where people will want to live, work, create and grow.
Some of the people who have given guest lectures here are GC graduates themselves, like Sofia Samatar, a renowned science fiction and fantasy author who is returning in the spring to teach a short writing workshop.
Even though Goshen is a small place, it’s clear that people from all over are recognizing that something is happening here and want to be a part of it.
My hope is that we, the students who benefit from the knowledge and gifts of our guests, can appreciate what all of their trips to a little school in northwestern Indiana show—we’re in a place worth spending some time.