Ambrosians Will Dedicate Month to Beeing the Difference


Ambrosians well know that service to others is baked into the St. Ambrose University experience.

What better way, then, to celebrate a monthlong commitment to intentionally "bee-ing the difference" than with home-baked bread and a soup buffet for every member of the campus - particularly on the day that officially celebrates the University's namesake saint?

President Amy Novak, EdD, is encouraging all St. Ambrose students, faculty and staff - as well as alumni and community supporters - to participate in 30 days of prayer and service as a means of lending positive energy to a new round of strategic planning that will commence in November.

"Beginning on Nov. 7, which is Bee the Difference Day, through our annual Feast of Saint Ambrose Day on Dec. 7, I would like to challenge our community to more intentionally live out our institutional calling to prayer and service," Novak said in a campus-wide communication on Oct. 27.

Bee the Difference Day, of course, is a Student Government Association-sanctioned fall tradition where St. Ambrose students fan out across the Campus Hilltop region to help campus neighbors clear their yards of leaves and debris in preparation for winter.

The first-year president encouraged students, staff, and faculty alike to join that effort and then continue acts of service to their community and neighbors in need even as leaves yield to Christmas trees.

What's more, Novak encouraged Ambrosians to celebrate their acts of service by sharing via social media using the hashtag #BeeTheDifference.

"Whether you are on a sports team that has committed to working with children with Down syndrome, or you have students working at a clinic for the underserved, or maybe you and your children are baking a small loaf of bread for a neighbor, all of these are examples of how we live out our calling to serve," she said. "To celebrate the incredible service conducted by our community, I would encourage you to take a picture of your service efforts throughout the month and use your social media platforms to amplify the service commitment of St. Ambrose University to the wider community."


Also, from Nov. 7 through Dec. 7, Novak challenged the St. Ambrose community to silently join together in a daily prayer written by Rev. Robert "Bud" Grant, Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan. The prayer is inspired by the writings of Saint Ambrose. Scroll down to read the prayer.

"For those who may not be religious, I would invite anyone to spend a small amount of time in silence each day, offering intention for the work of our strategic planning process as we strive to develop plans and actionable efforts for a strong and vibrant future," Novak said.

In the course of the month, SAU will celebrate Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30. That day, or any day through Dec. 7, the new president encouraged faculty and staff in particular to consider supporting the St. Ambrose Annual Fund in support of student scholarships. That will assist a strategic goal of increasing diversity at St. Ambrose by helping make a SAU education affordable and accessible to all, including First Generations students.

On Sunday, Dec. 5, the University will celebrate our patron saint and present the annual McMullen Awards to supporters who have embodied the St. Ambrose University mission of enriching the lives of others.

And on Dec. 7, the University will celebrate the Feast with yeast.

"I would like to invite all campus bread bakers to join my husband Ken and me in baking homemade bread for our community to celebrate the Feast of Saint Ambrose," Novak said. "We will plan to have homemade bread and a variety of fresh honey (We are Bees!) available in Rogalski Center for all of our students, faculty, and staff. We will also have a soup bar available through Sodexo."

The day will be declared a special Spirit Day, when SAU employees are encouraged to wear jeans and their favorite SAU gear.

In the Name of God the Creator, Christ the Savior, Spirit of Unity and through the intercession of Saint Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, Patron of Learning and of St. Ambrose University we pray for the St. Ambrose Community: Students, Staff, Faculty, Administrators and especially for a fruitful strategic planning process.

I. For Wisdom,
Saint Ambrose, you sang Christ to be the Font of Wisdom.
Enlighten us to see both reason and faith as Gifts of the same God.

II. For Temperance,
Saint Ambrose, you forsook the pleasures of earthy success for a life of service.
Temper us to make good use of the joys and delights of this life.

III. For Strength,
Saint Ambrose, you tirelessly devoted your life to do what is right.
In our weariness, strengthen us to persist in our duties with tranquility of heart.

IV. For Justice,
Saint Ambrose, you protected the immigrant and the poor from injustice.
Steel us to be staunch defenders of all who are marginalized.

V. For Mercy,
Saint Ambrose, you spoke Truth to the powerful that they might repent.
Warm us with the ever-present grace of God's mercy for our failings.

VI. For the Common Good,
Saint Ambrose, you instructed us that earthly goods are given for all.
Strengthen our commitment to share our talents for the common good.

VII. For the Earth,
Saint Ambrose, you proclaimed all creatures to be signs of God's presence.
Temper our desires so we might humbly care for all of God's Creation.

VII. For Students,
Saint Ambrose, by word and deed you instructed women and men, young and old.
Teach us to learn, to seek meaning and mission our whole lives long.

IX. For the Deceased,
Saint Ambrose, you mourned for those whose lives were ended too soon.
Console us with Hope of Eternal life for all Ambrosians who have died.

We pray for our collective work. May we model a commitment to prayer, service, justice and learning in our actions and our words.


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