By Erin Hallissy
Over time, Saint Mary's magazine has been exploring the four classical Greek elements through the prism of our intellectual and spiritual traditions as a Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts college. We've examined water and earth in past issues, and in this issue we look at fire, a particularly rich subject.
In Greek mythology, fire was so important that it was the sole property of the gods, and when Prometheus stole it from them, Zeus punished him by chaining his body to a rock. Each day an eagle tore out his liver, and each night it grew back for the punishment to be repeated.
Why is fire so guarded by the gods? It is revelatory, destructive, warming and transformative. It can be frightening, but it also lights the night and soothes the soul.
These various facets of fire are found throughout Saint Mary's, sometimes through destructive forces like wildfires, but more often through the zealous pursuits and interests of the scholars and professors who, in words from the College's mission statement, are "led by wonder about the nature of reality, look twice, ask why, seek not merely facts but fundamental principles, strive for an integration of all knowledge and express themselves precisely and eloquently."
One of the best things about being at Saint Mary's is being surrounded by people who are passionate about ideas, about study, about expressing themselves through words, music, sport, play and research. From an astronomy professor who urges his students to reach for the stars to an alumna who pours herself into writing a play about a volcano eruption nearly 2,000 years ago, the College is overflowing with creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm.
We hope you are inspired by the passions of the people in this magazine.
P.S. We have expanded this issue by eight pages to bring you coverage from the exciting journey of the men's basketball team in the NCAA Tournament. Their dedication and zeal reflect Saint Mary's College well.