As one of the first Fellows, I think that my paragraph about my Brueggeman experience may be a little different from what you are envisioning -- the traveling component of the program was not a focus of the program that first year when we were starting. That said, I have one distinct memory that comes to mind:
The most impressive experience I had as a Brueggeman fellow actually happened in a rather unassuming Indian restaurant in the neighborhood of Clifton. That's where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Vandana Shiva, who was speaking on Xavier's campus and making a few other appearances in town. I had read many of Dr. Shiva's writings in my classes and admired her as an academic and as an activist. In sharing a simple meal, I was impressed by how personable she was and by how quickly she engaged me and the other Fellows about our studies and our aspirations. I had never developed a personal relationship with someone who I had also studied in class before, and I found Vandana Shiva to be every bit as inspiring as a person as she was an activist or academic.
It was a privilege to be one of the first Brueggeman Fellows, and it is impressive to learn about the ways the program has grown and developed since I've graduated. Another fond memory I have was that our discussions as Brueggeman fellows were always so open and filled with ideas - it never felt like we were sitting in a lecture. The semester flew by.
I think the work done by the Center and the promotion of dialogue is one of the great things Xavier has going for it, and I'm proud to have been a part of it. An additional part of the experience that I thank you for, is your openness in discussing the mission of the center with the Fellows, and listening to our input. I feel like we all had a say in what the Fellowship has grown into.