News & Features

Patch Adams Collaborator to Speak at Academic Convocation

Annual Celebration Kicks off 2010-2011 School Year
On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Fontbonne University will celebrate the school’s rich history and heritage during Convocation Day 2010. Students, staff, faculty and alumni are all invited to attend and participate in the day’s activities.
Academic Convocation, an annual event, takes place at 10:15 a.m. in the Mabee Gymnasium with guest speaker Susan Parenti, a performer, writer and collaborator with Patch Adams, the subject of the 1998 film by the same name starring Robin Williams. Her message explores Fontbonne’s fall 2010 dedicated semester topic, Happiness: Traditions and Tensions. Learn more about Parenti below.

Academic Convocation is followed by the Mass of the Holy Spirit at 11:30 a.m. in Doerr Chapel. Students, faculty and staff are invited to the Welcome Back Barbeque sponsored by the Fontbonne Alumni Association from noon – 2 p.m. in the Eleanor Halloran Ferry Plaza. And to wrap up the day, a special reception will take place at 2 p.m. on the second floor of Anheuser-Busch Hall to celebrate the opening of the Bonnie & L.B. Eckelkamp College of Global Business and Professional Studies and the Anheuser-Busch Administration Center.
For individuals unable to attend Academic Convocation, an evening convocation will take place the night before at 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, August 31.
** Previous student participants should wear stoles and pins

Wednesday, Sept. 1: Schedule
10:15 a.m. — Academic Convocation, Mabee Gymnasium
** Previous student participants should wear stoles and pins

11:30 a.m. — Mass of the Holy Spirit, Doerr Chapel

Noon – 2 p.m. — Welcome Back Barbeque, Eleanor Halloran Ferry Plaza

2 p.m. — Reception, 2nd Floor, Anheuser-Busch Hall

What is Academic Convocation?

Fontbonne University was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, a community of religious women that has ministered to the needs of individuals and the world for more than 350 years. Today, we gather to recognize, celebrate and strengthen our identity as a Catholic institution of higher education that seeks to focus the charism of the Sisters into one particular mission: educating leaders to serve a world in need. At Academic Convocation, we put our academic vision into action. At our Mass of the Holy Spirit, we call upon the same Spirit that filled the first Sisters of St. Joseph as they reached out to those in need in Le Puy, France, more than 350 years ago. At our welcome back barbecue, we celebrate the community of individuals that makes this mission possible.

Susan Parenti
Susan Parenti is a touring performer, writer and collaborator with Dr. Patch Adams. She was one of the founding organizers of the School for Designing a Society, a grassroots school for social change in Urbana, Ill., and she is the author of three books: “The Politics of the Adjective 'Political',” “‘I’ and My Mouth and Their Irresistible Life in Language” and “Playing Attention to Language.”
Parenti received her masters and doctorate degree in musical arts (DMA) from the University of Illinois, and her bachelors degree from Northwestern University. After studying for two years in Rome, Italy, at the l'Academia di Santa Cecilia she became a musical composer as a profession. In addition, in collaboration with Herbert Brun, Susan composes in the medium of language and of society. This means that in addition to composing pieces for chamber ensembles, she also composes schools, projects and approaches to thinking.

She is currently a teacher and organizer of the School for Designing a Society in Urbana-Illinois, a two-year program where composition is applied to social change.