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ENTRUSTING A FLAME: A PROFESSOR'S GIFT

Hans Urs von Balthasar once wrote in homage of Origen, the great 3rd century Christian scholar, that every theologian after him simply “burned with a borrowed flame.” That phrase comes to mind as I reflect on the inheritance one professor from my pre-monk days bestowed upon me.

Early Modern Literature was the best and most unforgettable class I took as an undergrad at UD. I was the only male among the 20 or so students, and the lone non-English major as well-a rare occasion in which I personally contributed to campus diversity!

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A SPIRIT SO SWEET

When I was asked to write a bit about a friendship I’d formed and maintained with a UD professor, there were several names that sprang to mind, but none so right and fitting as David Sweet’s.  As anyone likely to read this column already knows, UD is an unassuming place, its buildings designed not to detract from the landscape—small, sloping hills, gnarled post oaks, and black Texas earth—but to blend with them.  It is a rare piece of wisdom on an architect’s part to realize that nothing he designs can have a fraction of the beauty of a single leaf or the spreading branches of a tree.

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MEMORIES THAT BIND

Lynch Hall darkens, a large assembly of parents and prospective students are assembled for the last presentation of the Admissions Visit Day.  I am to tell them about the adventure that awaits them should they enroll at the University of Dallas and proceed as sophomores to join the Rome Program semester.  It is a mixed audience, including a handful of alumni parents with whom I shared the Greek Trip a generation ago.  We agree that we had a great time. Good ice breaker.

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BASEBALL & CONVERSATION: A UD FRIENDSHIP

As a post-Rome junior I audited Andrew Moran’s Lit Trad IV class not so much to read the great novels, I must admit, as to befriend a great teacher. Friends had told me not only that this Moran character was a good professor but that I in particular would like him.  At this late date, the precise reasons that my friends thought this escape me, but surely they had something to do with baseball, which is probably my and, as it turns out, Moran’s, greatest earthly love.

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THE UNION OF LIBERAL FRIENDSHIP

My wife Trang and I were in Virginia for the wedding of a friend’s daughter—we are old, we are old—and had time to take the train into D.C., where we met Emily Lataif, BA '16, and Katie Davern,BA '15.  We met them at the Capitol, and they showed us places only staffers can go:  the floor of the House and the Speaker’s Balcony looking over the Mall. Neither could call us “Scott” and “Trang”; we were “Mrs. Crider” and “Dr. Crider.”  We spent most of the time with Emily, and running into Katie was a special surprise.

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Philía is an ongoing series of reflections by faculty and alumni on the life-long friendship between the two.

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