AddRan College hosts ‘Back to Class’ event

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    The third floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union was networking grounds for people of all ages on Thursday, all in attendance for different reasons.

    Kim Gore, Dean Andrew Schoolmaster’s assistant, said about 225 names were on the final list of attendees at AddRan College of Liberal Arts’s “Back to Class” event Thursday night in the BLUU.

    “I was invited by a friend and wanted to see if it was interesting,” said Helina Medina, who planned to attend Dr. Michael Bachmann’s “Honey, I’m Home: Hacking the Internet of Things” lecture and Dr. Kiril Tochkov’s “Borders, Globalization and Economic Integration” lecture.

    Barbara Dennis came to “Back to Class” to support her son, Dr. Mark Dennis, who, fresh off of a plane from a workshop in Chicago, gave a religion lecture entitled “What is Freedom?”

    Barbara Dennis said she was excited to be a part of the event.

    Tom McDonald, a TCU graduate of 1965 and 1967, was also excited. McDonald worked for Alcon Lab for 40 years before retiring. He said he was invited to “Back to Class” by the TCU History Department. McDonald said he was interested in hearing Dr. Tochkov’s economics lecture.

    Brian Treger, from TCU’s graduating class of 2000, said he was invited by his old professor Dr. Ralph Carter, whom he’s maintained a relationship with since graduation. Treger currently works in the Wells Fargo Wealth Management department and was eager to hear Dr. Carter’s “Is a New Cold War Inevitable? The Curse of Mutual Misperception” lecture as well as Dr. Tochkov’s economics lecture.

    Many AddRan faculty members were in attendance as well.

    TCU Spanish professor Regan Boxwell said faculty in the foreign language department received an email inviting and encouraging them to attend the event.

    Guests mingled over dinner catered by Sodexo, which came complete with shredded pork, popcorn chicken, mashed potatoes and a variety of drinks.

    Toward the end of the reception, which began at 6 p.m., all of the guests were called into one classroom. Chancellor Victor Boschini welcomed guests and thanked sponsors and donors.

    Following Boschini’s address, Dean Schoolmaster welcomed guests and explained the purpose of “Back to Class”. Schoolmaster also took the opportunity to announce that negotiations were finalized last week to welcome TCU’s first Benjamin Schmidt professor. He said that Dr. Kara Vuic will be joining TCU’s staff from High Point University in North Carolina in the fall of 2015.

    “It’s nice to be able to close those loops,” said Dean Schoolmaster.

    Dean Schoolmaster ended his speech by introducing the professors that would be lecturing throughout the night and thanking attendees for supporting liberal arts.

    When the bell rang to signal the start of the first round of classes at 7:00 p.m., guests sauntered through the hallway to their lectures of choice.

    After the first 25-minute class, guests walked back into the hall and conversations arose about the thought-provoking topics they’d just heard about.

    Holly McFarland, wife of American History professor Dr. Todd Kerstetter, attended Dr. Stacie McCormmick and Dr. Molly Scudder’s lecture entitled “Feeling Another’s Pain: Rethinking Our Practices of Empathy” and said she really enjoyed it.

    Throughout the hall, guests ate TCU decorated cupcakes and other desserts and discussed their experiences in their first lectures. Guests also listened to recommendations for a second class to attend.

    When the 10-minute break was over, the bell for the second class rang.

    Each professor thanked guests for attending “Back to Class” and supporting the AddRan College at the end of their presentation.

    Guests said they were impressed with the lectures.

    Mark Irons, a pastor with a Bachelor of Arts in religion studies from TCU, attended Dr. Dennis’s religion lecture and Dr. Bachmann’s criminal justice lecture.

    “I really liked them both. One talked about freedom and one talked about how we’re giving all away,” Irons said.

    Jimmy Philip’s wife is a desk assistant at TCU. He described Dr. Bachmann’s lecture and Dr. Tochkov’s lecture as “very good” and “interesting.”

    Toward the end of the night, Dean Schoolmaster, who socialized with several people throughout the event, chatted with Matt Bethea, Director of Development for AddRan College.

    “Great job! It came together nicely,” Schoolmaster said to Bethea.