Lalanne Celebrates 15 Years of Service

Lalanne, a post graduate teacher service program of the University of Dayton, is celebrating 15 years of service to Catholic schools during the 2014-2015 school year. The celebration began as the 15th cohort of teachers arrived on campus June 17, 2014. This cohort of 18 teachers will serve 15 schools in the dioceses of Indianapolis, Indiana; Lansing, Michigan; and Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio.

Typically, a summer on campus consists of taking master’s program courses and participating in Lalanne classes or activities that will help teachers to live as members of a Catholic lay community in their service cities while teaching in the schools. This year’s summer activities also included a reunion of Lalanne alumni.

Image of reunion participantsCelebration

On June 21-22, Lalanne alumni and their families came to campus to help us kick off the celebration. After a cookout and chance to meet the current cohort of teachers on Saturday afternoon, alumni shared in an information and discussion session to learn how Lalanne has grown and changed in the last 15 years. This time was also used to allow alumni to discuss and create an alumni network for teachers as they finish Lalanne. Ideas were shared on ways to stay connected with one another and ways to support Lalanne. There was excitement around the possibilities and work is already being done.  A survey was drafted and has been sent to capture information on what teachers are doing now and in what ways they continue to live their Lalanne experience. A Facebook page titled “The Lalanne Network” will be a place for Lalanne alumni to blog and share information.

A wonderful Saturday evening dinner was enjoyed by all in the Kennedy Union Ballroom. Brother Ed Brink, SM, founding director of Lalanne, was the inspiring dinner speaker.  As he summarized his remarks to alumni and current teachers, he said: “Let me leave you with an invitation ... your experience of Lalanne is not something that has to end…the lessons you learned in Lalanne are things that can be carried forward. And I know that you have been doing that. The spark of energy you gave to your school, the difference you made in the lives of your students, the life you found within your community, can still be a part of what you do today.”

On Sunday morning we celebrated Mass together in the Immaculate Conception Chapel and then had brunch before all went their separate ways.

The Coming Year

As our year-long celebration continues, a new marketing video will be launched on the Lalanne website in time for fall recruiting season. Our partner dioceses and schools will receive a special gift to mark 15 years of Lalanne and our relationship with each of them. University Advancement at UD will work with Lalanne staff to capture stories of Lalanne teachers in an effort to help us attain financial support so we may continue forming teachers in faith to serve in Catholic schools.

Legacy

Forming teachers in faith is the legacy of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Father John Baptiste Lalanne, from the earliest days of the Society of Mary after the French Revolution. Through the Lalanne program we have been witness to this legacy.

To date, 153 young women and men have participated in Lalanne. Ninety percent are still in the field of education with 89% of that number serving in Catholic schools. Our prayer is one of thanksgiving to God for all that has been and for all that will be in years to come!