Bro. Ed Brink, SM, Vice President for Mission and Rector at Chaminade University of Honolulu sends us this update about the university's new EDGE program for student-athletes focusing on Education, Direction, God, and Exuberance.
EDGE: Education, Direction, God, and Exuberance
Following the AMU Symposium in St. Louis last summer (2022), Bro. Tom Giardino offered small seed grants for new initiatives that would further the Catholic and Marianist mission at the three universities. MEAs and other Symposium participants from Chaminade University requested several of these grants.
One was requested by Fr. Martin Solma, along with Tom Buning, Athletic Director and future MEA, and current MEA Eric Bovaird, head coach of the men’s basketball team. The idea was to engage the Chaminade University athletes in a faith and mission-oriented conversation. Much of the faith and mission discussion at the university is directed to the academic program. The hope was to engage the athletes in this conversation since they represent a significant constituency of the Chaminade ‘ohana of “family.” After several iterations, the EDGE program was conceived.
Left to Right: Fr. Marty Solma, SM, Tom Buning, Sr. Malia Wong, OP, and Chaminade University students are pictured above.
The overall GPA for Chaminade athletes is 3.42, the highest in the school’s history. Athletes acquire a first-rate education at Chaminade, along with athletic training and experience. They are expected to be good athletes but also good students.
Direction: What’s it all for, and where is life going? How can each athlete discern a vocation in life? How can their gifts and talents be used in service to the needs of the world?
What role does faith have in their lives now and in the future? What is important and worth giving life to? How do they address more ultimate questions of meaning, purpose, and trust in a God of love and mercy, revealed to us in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, promised “life in abundance.” How can they live a life that they love and that brings them joy and happiness beyond anything they can imagine?
Jesus promised “life in abundance”. How can they live a life that they love and that brings them joy and happiness beyond anything they can imagine?
The goal of a Catholic and Marianist education at Chaminade University is: a quality education; a sense of one’s calling in life; growing as a person of faith; and living life fully in service of others.
Sr. Malia Wong, OP, also an MEA, began the evening with a “Chaminade and Marianist” trivia presentation. That was followed by three speakers (MEAs and student-athletes), interspersed with short video clips of athletes talking about their faith. The evening ended with a moving exhortation by Bro. Ed Brink for these athletes to act on what they had heard and not to be worried about making mistakes.
There were about 130 athletes and coaches present. The hope is to make this gathering an annual event. The organizers are grateful to the AMU for this seed grant.