The Glenn A. and Jane L. Crosby Lecture Series began the 2019 fall semester on Sept. 5 with Dr. Tim Clydesdale visiting Waynesburg University.
Clydesdale, vice provost, dean of graduate studies, and professor of sociology at the College of New Jersey, led a lecture titled ““Holy Grit! Why Waynesburg needs Purposeful Graduates.”
The title and theme of the lecture is based on Clydesdale’s first book, “The Purposeful Graduate: Why Colleges Must Talk to Students about Vocation.”
Clydesdale has spent 23 years at the College of New Jersey, teaching the importance of vocation and living a life of meaning. He believes in the power of purpose, even as early as your time in college.
“It really makes a difference for your capacity to live a life that you’ll find meaningful and purposeful if you spend time during your college years really reflecting on what that means,” Clydesdale said. “Being prepared to explore it even during your college years so you can make good choices about what you want to do after you graduate.”
Purpose isn’t just something Clydesdale lectures on, however. The idea of vocation is something he meditates on personally and values as a passion.
“You can’t write about, teach about, questions of purpose, calling and vocation without reflecting on that yourself and thinking about living intentionally and purposeful yourself,” Clydesdale said.
Clydesdale spoke to faculty, staff and students of Waynesburg University inside the Goodwin Performing Arts Center (GPAC) before answering audience questions.
Clydesdale’s message particularly resonated with Daniel Booth, junior history and political science double major.
“I think he hit some really key points,” Booth said. “He really nailed it on the first half. I really enjoyed his themed residence halls because students do take a majority of their time in the residence halls.”
Booth also enjoyed Clydesdale’s insight on mentor-ship, as that is a part of Booth’s college experience and is something that he has benefited from.
“My mentor John Thompson has really shaped my entire life and I know that if I didn’t have that one on one I would be a significantly worse person,” Booth said. “I think that the fact that he nailed mentor-ship which is so often overlooked was the icing on the cake to his lecture.”
Dana Cook Baer, provost at Waynesburg University, noted that Clydesdale’s message fit well for the lecture series because it aligns with many of the University’s core values.
“The many times that Dr. Clydesdale has spoken to faculty he has provided relevant information,” Baer said. “A message that is consistent with some of the initiatives we’re working on in the area of vocation, purpose and wellness.”
Clydesdale has visited Waynesburg before, but this was his first time speaking with students on campus.
“This is my second time here, I got to come here two years ago in August and met with faculty and staff,” Clydesdale said. “Now I’m here, the students are back and it’s always exciting when the students are around. It adds energy to the campus, it’s a lot of fun. It’s great to be here.”