Christchurch National Alumni Gathering
The very first South Island National Alumni Gathering was held in the newly extended Christchurch campus facilities on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August. Staff from both Auckland and Christchurch campuses welcomed around 25 alumni for dessert and coffee on the Friday night including Hudson (founding Dean) and Rosemary Deane, Keith (former Dean) and Elizabeth Clark, and Elizabeth Taylor (graduate of 1965 and mother of Steve Taylor, former lecturer at the Christchurch campus).
Following a similar format to the event in Auckland, the weekend was shaped around teaching sessions with Drs Jack and Judy Balswick exploring their model for flourishing relationships (whether in a marriage, family or church community) and the behaviours that either support or hinder growth in relationships. Also included was a lovely time of sung worship after which alumni shared stories about College life or what life has held since then.
Throughout the event, Principal Rod Thompson shared with those present about the College and the six words he uses to describe it, bracketed in pairs: gospel and evangelical; encounter and dialogue; formational and missional. He spoke with much passion about his hope that alumni from around New Zealand will respond to the invitation to keep connected with the College and the life that can flow both ways when a strongly relational alumni network actively partners with the College to support its critical role within New Zealand.
Saturday concluded with a dinner, during which Hudson Deane spoke about the founding of the Christchurch campus and the invitation to start a campus in Christchurch that had been extended by local church leaders at the time.
Thanks to everybody who made attendance at this weekend a priority. It felt like a fresh start for alumni connection with College and we hope to meet again same time, same place, next year.
Videos of the talks by Jack & Judy Balswick at the gathering in Auckland, are available here.