I was introduced to Wroxton Abbey when my wife interviewed Nicholas Baldwin in July 1988. She was exploring the implications of the English tutorial method for returning adult education in the United States and interviewing selected tutors known for their skill with this particularly British form of pedagogy. Nicholas was highly recommended and the interview allowed me free time with my two children, Paul and Laura (ages 9 and 5) to explore the Abbey and its grounds. Later, while Chaplain at The University of Tulsa, I developed a program to help fellow faculty members revisit their sense of vocation as academics through a month-long mini-sabbatical hosted every other year at Wroxton College with reading privileges in Oxford at the Bodleian Library. During the 12 years of that program, I introduced some fifteen to twenty colleagues to the Abbey every visit. Each of them quickly fell in love with her and developed their own favorite aspects of the College, its staff and grounds.
Early on during the tenure of our summer colloquium I joined with FDU faculty member Leonard Grob in developing a proposal for a special symposium for Holocaust scholars. With a shared commitment to a different kind of symposium, one that encompassed praxis along with theoretical concerns, we shaped an academic gathering committed to fostering an international, interreligious, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary community of Holocaust and genocide scholars committed to the ongoing repair of the world through our shared and individual work. Wroxton College was the natural setting in which to meet, likewise in biennial fashion. Funded during its first decade by Pastora Goldner as the Goldner Holocaust Symposium, the program eventually became the Stephen S. Weinstein Holocaust Symposium and continues with regular meetings at the Abbey during even-numbered years.
In other words, Wroxton College has become a special place for me – home for several important professional ventures in my life and the life of my family. Even so, the Wroxton legacy extends further. My children, when they were students at The University of Tulsa, each selected Wroxton College for their study abroad experiences, taking advantage of the outstanding academic programs offered by the college. Each of them left their mark – Paul as the house ping pong champion in 1999 And Laura as a recipient of the Banbury House award in 2003. Both of them, like their parents, fell in love with the Abbey, its grounds and its people.
Even though I was never a student at the college, I consider myself a proud member of the Wroxton College family: an alum of two different programs rooted in the Abbey and the parent of two student alumni from 1999 And 2003. This is a very special family and it is a privilege to be one of the fold.