The faculty and staff of Santa Fe College will gather for spring term convocation at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4 in SF’s Fine Arts Hall following light refreshments at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby.
An inspirational speaker, retired New York City firefighter Tim Brown, will tell the SF family of his experiences during the World Trade Center terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
Brown was nearby when a plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center. He ran toward the inferno to find out how he could help and was assigned to the command post at the remaining tower. Brown said that when the second plane hit the second tower he knew it was no accident — that the United States was under attack.
Brown lost many good friends in that attack. Some died while heroically trying to rescue victims and others died later from health problems resulting from the attack. Some still survive but suffer from illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous materials during the cleanup work at Ground Zero.
Since retiring, Brown has become a spokesman for the many firefighters, police officers and construction workers who served at Ground Zero, and their families. He also figured prominently in the protest against the construction of a mosque near the attack site. In the process he learned a lot about radical Islam and Sharia (Islamic) law.
Brown’s journey of learning resembles that of many Americans who were jolted out of their sense of security by the Sept. 11 attack. They suddenly became aware of American’s vulnerability to the world at large.
Education in international affairs is one way to open peoples’ eyes and teach them how to coexist peacefully with those of various national backgrounds. Santa Fe College has made great strides towards this by internationalizing its curriculum.
Study abroad courses introduce Santa Fe students to the cultures and peoples of many nations. Recent visiting Fulbright professors have made positive impacts on the college’s curricula and students. And SF has won the prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.
Convocation will highlight SF’s international education initiatives and there will be a live Skype conversation with a student in Sweden.
Recognized guests at convocation include Ms. Pasty Blount, Foundation Board member and wife of late Mr. Charley Blount, our largest single donor to date; Dr. Jack Payne, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida; and Mr. Scott Costello, Publisher of Home Magazine.