I take great pleasure to welcome you to the fourth edition of Spera, a publication that highlights the scholarly accomplishments of our faculty at Hope. As I reflected on the research featured in this edition, I was drawn to the idea of “new lenses.” The current global COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges and forced us to engage with each other in new, physically distanced manners. These new challenges have prompted us to all look at life with “new lenses.” For example, Professor Jennifer Hampton is investigating how to utilize a material known as a pigment source to store electricity. This work is an example of how looking at existing materials with “new lenses” can provide novel applications and tools. Professor Matthew Farmer’s focus on the “notes between the notes” gives an innovative approach to bring Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite to life via dance. History Professor Fred Johnson, III shares with us a new way of looking at war; he details acts of love in war in his lecture series and forthcoming collection of essays. These are just a few examples of how our esteemed faculty utilize their fields of study to engage students, one another, and the larger community to see the world with “new lenses.” It is our motto–Spera in Deo (Hope in God)–an imperative to see not only with physical eyes but spiritual ones.
I am grateful to work with colleagues that see their research as a means to not only contribute to their fields but reimagine them. Let us all take heed to their cues to put on “new lenses” and see the world anew.
Wishing abundant peace for all,
Gerald D. Griffin