Batavia, New York - With the investiture of a new President, the spring 2012 semester at Genesee Community College is dedicated to New Beginnings and Continuity, and that theme will be apparent in the construction of a nine by nine foot original sand mandala created by monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet. The sand mandala tradition involves the creation and destruction of paintings made from colored sand. It is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies symbolize the Buddhist belief in the transitory nature of material life.
The mandala to be constructed the week of April 30 in the GCC Forum ends a year-long exploration of the “Circle of Life” Global education theme at the College, and kicks off the events leading up to the inauguration of Dr. James Sunser as Genesee Community College’s fourth president. The monks will be working on the mandala throughout the days leading up to the May 5th inauguration. A special dismantling ceremony culminates with the distribution of the sand to observers on Friday, May 4, followed by a procession to the walk bridge over Tonawanda Creek located near the Holland Land Office on East Main Street in Batavia. The closing ritual gets underway at 10:00 a.m. in the Forum. Part of the ceremony will include the dedication and planting of a new Dogwood tree, representing The Tree of Life, in honor of Dr. Sunser’s inauguration.
The public is welcome to view the ongoing construction throughout the week, and gain a better understanding of the mandala when producer Martin McGee brings his film Mandala – the World of Mystic Circle to the Conable Technology Building on Monday, April 30, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. A question and answer session will follow.
The public is also invited to take part in creating a smaller community mandala on Tuesday, May 1 through Thursday, May 3, from 9:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. on the GCC Forum Stage.
A display of Tibetan photography by GCC Sociology professors Josephine Kearney and Carl Wahlstrom will also be open to the public in the Stuart Steiner Theater Lobby, starting Monday, April 16 through Monday, May 14. GCC will host a reception for the exhibit on Tuesday, May 1 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the theater lobby.
For more information on GCC’s Presidential Inauguration and the week of events visit: http://www.genesee.edu/gcc/inauguration/events.cfm.
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