Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

The United Nations celebrates International Day of Peace on Sept. 21, and this year, Lynchburg College’s spiritual life center celebrated by unveiling a new peace pole to represent our campus’ commitment to diversity and acceptance.

The pole includes the phrase “May peace prevail on earth” in eight different languages from around the globe, including English, Creole, Hebrew, American Sign Language, Swahili, Spanish, Arabic and Cree Indian, along with a Braille plaque.  These languages were chosen to represent our student population and to honor the indigenous people of our country.

The pole also bears a plaque honoring Associate Chaplain Anne Gibbons’ 30 years of service – an addition she was unaware of until the unveiling.

Chaplain and director of church relations, the Rev. Stephanie McLemore explained how she hoped this addition would fit into our community and affect the students:

“I hope it’s a witness on this campus that we live in a community and that our community takes a pledge of peaceful action more seriously. I hope it identifies the structure on campus as a place where we do life a little differently and with an emphasis on peace and social justice and spirituality.”

Stephanie McLemore and Kay Higgins unveil the peace poll. Photo by Sarah Irby. Sept. 21, 2017

The event was held in conjunction with the launch of the Peace Crane project – a challenge to create 1,000 origami cranes. This was a segue into International Education Week, which began on Monday, Sept. 26.

Chisato Tada, international student advisor, believes this will be an opportunity for our campus community to learn about and appreciate a different culture.

Attendees at the peace pole dedication were encouraged to color their own rocks and place them at the base of the pole. They were also able to read aloud quotes and prayers from different religious backgrounds, if they so desired.

We are surrounded by symbols every day, and now LC will have a new, tangible one to represent our dedication to inclusiveness on our campus.

Gibbons commented on the new addition and what it means to her:

“I think symbols are important and I think that a peace pole is a symbol of, we don’t just say that we celebrate diversity, we don’t just say that diversity and multi-faith is important but we want to say it with what you can see.”