I am visiting Audrey in Lynchburg Va and yesterday we went to 2 very different colleges.
The first was Randolph College where CaroLine, Audrey's partner is a professor of psychology. It is the former Randolph Bacon College...at least 100 years old, beautiful red brick buildings and a liberal arts curriculum for the most part. We visited their art museum which housed some beautiful older and new paintings. What was interesting was it's value on contemporary art which after a hundred years from purchase is no longer contemporary but literally (some paintings, at least) almost priceless. I was interested in reading some students poetry on the paintings which brought them to life and made me want to appreciate art more and enjoy creativity. A beautiful campus and a real sense of history, tradition and learning. MThere were large signs throughout the campus that said "Be an Original.". There are about 800 students enrolled in this college.
And then we went to Liberty College which is exactly 40 years old and was founded by Dr Jerry Falwell ( honorary doctorate) and has 15,000 students.Obviously newer buildings and very modern and clean. We went first to the church and the school. There was a coffee shop in this place where we purchased blueberry flavored coffee and some delicious chocolate chip cookies. Then we went to another museum....the Jerry Falwell Museum which was very interesting. on the one hand, his career is pretty impressive as he built it all....the mega church, schools, college, law school. The had videos of his life through the decades and I have distinct memories of seeing him interviewed by people like Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Phil Donahue and Larry King.
On the other hand his theology is radically different from mine. There is a big article about the day in which he was saved. Audrey tells me a story about when someone of his acquaintance joined her liberal open and affirming church (First Christian Church) and he called them and told them they were going to go to he'll. We see advertisements for courses on creationism. Different from my theology of a loving and inclusive God.
Audrey lent mea fascinating book "The Unliklely Disciple" by Kevin Roosevelt, a description of his semester as a student at Liberty College. It is fascinating because iit tells about the good parts to this place as well as the rules and regs for these students,
Anyway, I am still pondering much of this. It is a great trip and time to be with Audrey and Caroline.