Some things only need to occur once before they become honored traditions. Half of our Alumni Network got to experience the first annual TGS Symposium last year in Athens, Greece, and with statements such as, “that was one of the coolest things TGS has ever done,” overheard by the Symposium Committee, they knew this was one of those things worth repeating.
As a refresher, the TGS Symposium was held at the end of the 2014/2015 school year and showcased the exemplary student work crafted during our time in Athens. That year’s theme revolved around our humanities courses’ term topic of “Legends and Legacies”, which allowed students to highlight the progression of thought from ancient to modern Greece. In ancient times, a symposium was an all-day wine drinking party, but we decided to keep the brain cells engaged with an all-day formal exhibition of scholarly work.
This year’s theme is “Outsiders and Outliers,” which reflects the overarching focus of our year studying in Europe. While in Italy, humanities students will investigate the implications of being an outsider and/or outlier in today’s globalized world, and will vie for one of eight spots in the Symposium lineup.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Alumni Facebook group, you know that we upped the ante this year to incorporate the first-ever TGS grant to the Alumni Network. This Symposium Scholar grant offers accommodation and travel to one TGS alum who can deliver a well-developed keynote speech in line with this year’s theme.
The Symposium Committee was pleased to receive submissions from 25% of the Network, an impressive percentage given the fact that this is a new opportunity requiring very high expectations of applicants. For those of you curious to apply for next year’s Symposium, keep an eye on the Official TGS Alumni Facebook group for updates on the deadlines and the announcement for the next theme. The Committee anticipates making an earlier announcement and deadline to avoid the rush of December finals.
Isaac Forsland happily accepted the first Symposium Scholar grant and will be presenting on June 7th at our Symposium venue of Reale Firenze, located in the heart of modern day Florence: the Santa Maria Novella train station. His presentation is entitled “Embracing Aura” and will explain the nature of aura and why we need it. Whether you plan to tune in via the livestream or join us IRL, you are certain to learn something of value, applicable in your everyday life.
We hope many of you are planning to visit Florence in June for this and all of our commencement activities, including the 5th annual Traveling Shorts Film Festival, to which we have already received over 500 submissions from 50+ countries around the world!
We hope to continue the Symposium and all other commencement events for as long as we have students and alumni creating exemplary work for the world to see. So keep this yearly tradition on your radar as you continue your lifelong learning wherever you are in the world.