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Center for Faith and Spirituality

Carthaginian Spring 2015

The beauty of shared success, failure, and service

By Pastor Kara

As I write this article, I’m in Carefree, Arizona, at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center with 20 other campus pastors from our sister ELCA colleges and universities. It is good to be out of the cold weather of Wisconsin and to feel temperatures above 30 degrees.

Soon I will be able to experience the same warmth in the beauty of Wisconsin. But it is even better to be with those who do the same work that I’m doing at Carthage.

It is a small group of ELCA clergy who serve in a college setting, and it is good to share our joys and our struggles. It is good to share times in worship and praise of God. It is good to share what is working on our campuses and hope that we can learn from one another. Our goal is to see vibrant campus ministries at all of our ELCA colleges, for the sake of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Campus ministry from the Center for Faith and Spirituality is growing and becoming stronger. This January, working alongside Professor Sandie Bisciglia, director of the Diversity Center, we sponsored our first Carthage Service Day. We had 40 students, faculty and staff members, and alumni come together on a Saturday morning to do service in the Racine and Kenosha areas.

“Sometimes in our busy lives, we forget how the simple, little things in life, such as working with others and giving back to the community, can brighten someone’s day. This service event truly reminded me to appreciate the little things and to perform simple acts of kindness each day!” — Cami Christopulos ’15

Volunteers broke up into small groups and donated time at five locations. We sorted donations at the ELCA Outreach Center in Kenosha and at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Racine, cooked the community meal to be served at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Racine, painted the dining area at the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) and helped to shred confidential documents at Racine Vocational Ministry.

At each site, volunteers served but also learned about the nonprofit and how it is trying to make a difference in the world. Everyone in the group had a great experience and asked for more opportunities like this to get into our surrounding community to serve. The spirit of service is strong on campus.

In February, we held two Ash Wednesday services on campus. Around 200 members of the community came out to be reminded that they are dust and to dust they shall return. At the evening service, I encouraged the students not to give anything up for Lent; instead, I encouraged them to find ways to engage more deeply in their faith journey.

I was thrilled that they came to worship, and my hope and prayer is that, when they come back next Lent, they will know more about why they are coming, what their faith means to them, and how it impacts each day of their lives. I don’t believe they will have it all figured out — that is a lifelong journey — but at least they are on the path and gathering with others to share their joys and struggles, and to worship and praise God.

It is good to have completed my first year as campus pastor, and to see all the ways that the Center for Faith and Spirituality can grow and partner with others on campus to become more and more vibrant. It is good to gather to share our lives. It is good to gather to serve the community. It is good to gather in praise and worship of God.

Pastor Kara

The Carthaginian is a magazine for Carthage alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College. It is published three times a year by the Carthage Office of Communications. Read the Carthaginian online at

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $22,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …