On Saturday we had the privilege of speaking at the annual Family Conference at Southern Virginia University a small private liberal arts college that provides a unique education for about 750, mostly LDS students from 46 states and 6 foreign countries.
For the past fifteen years Kathleen Knight, one of the co-founders of the University has hosted a weekend Family Conference. Her collection of experts on improving families and inspirational music was terrific.
This year her theme was “Family Forever”.
We were honored to be able to participate and thrilled to have a reunion with two dear friends from our Salt Lake City neighborhood. We were delighted to see Dixie Schoenhals Stoddard who is the wife of Bud Stoddard, a member of the SVU board and generous benefactor. Dixie has also been my art teacher and a collection of her beautiful artwork is displayed at the school.
In addition the Scott and Annelle Doxey family were there. Scott is part of the administration at SVU and was responsible for getting us there. We were so excited to see their newly renovated home about a half a mile from the school. Their darling daughter Rachel and her family live next door and they have a high school exchange student from Indonesia living with them this year. It was fascinating to talk to her about her rigorous school schedule at home in Java. School starts at 6 am and finishes at 4 pm Monday through Saturday! We were reminded of why we loved the Muslim families we met in our travels as she keeps careful watch of the time and prays five times a day. She was adorable!
The SVU campus was founded in 1867 as a school for women. It was renewed by it’s creative new owners as a private University in 1996, The main building is a gorgeous facility for offices and men’s housing and is full of outstanding art pieces and period furniture.
Another spectacular building for housing women as well as several facilities for sports activities have been added. The Stoddard Activities Center where the conference was held is a cleverly re- purposed building that was originally a large horse arena.
We left feeling inspired and uplifted by people who are doing good things in the world! Thanks for getting us there Kathleen. We Loved what we saw and what we learned about the good in the world!