Dear friends of CFA,
I am well into my third year as Dean, College of Communication and Fine Arts, and I am still committed to the compelling mission of LMU, as well as the critical and creative ways in which CFA activates the mission through our outstanding departments and programs. To coin a phrase from our collaborative partners in the CSJ Center for Reconciliation, headed by our own Sister Judith Royer — in CFA we strongly believe in the arts that do justice. Our students are consistently engaged in a critical praxis of thinking and doing; using art a means of not only entertaining the spirit but informing and helping to transform the soul and the human condition. Our students in Communication Studies are equally involved in fostering the development of the whole person, promoting a commitment to social justice and cultural diversity, and consistently confronting the most pressing contemporary political, social, and ethical issues of our time; the local and the global.
In this issue of the CFA newsletter you will read feature stories about current students and alumni; stories of students and programs that are worth celebrating. And amongst other things, you will read about the Theatre Department’s plans to host the prestigious African Theatre Association conference at LMU July 23-26, 2015, the first time that this international conference has been held in the United States. You will join us in a commemoration of the passing of choral conductor extraordinaire, Paul Salamunovich who, amongst many accomplishments in his illustrious career, was the grandfather of the LMU Choral program now celebrating its 50th year anniversary under the direction of Professor Mary Breden; as the Sinatra Opera Workshop is also celebrating its 25th year anniversary all under the direction of Professor Virginia Saya. You will also read stories of great professional accomplishment and for Professor/Sister Judith Royer (Theatre) and Assistant Professor Rosalynde Leblanc Loo (Dance), and other stories of great honor and that makes CFA past and present a premier arena for the training of critical thinkers, artists and scholars.
As I have written elsewhere, our academic and performing arts programs are designed to understand art as communication and communication as art; each a critical endeavor that demands concentrated thought and effort to craft expressions of meaning-making for specific audiences; each engages the communication of critical messages in diverse forms that relay thought, meaning, faith and sometimes beauty; each demand students as artists, performers and intellectuals grapple with social and political issues to make their ideas, passions and commitments known to others. We invite you into this issue of the newsletter, and we also invite you to visit other aspects of CFA webpage including our 2014-15 Events Season.
Bryant Keith Alexander, Ph.D.