Clear the calendars for the weekend of April 26 because Kin Takahashi Weekend is coming.
This event is a slight variant on the annual summer Kin Takahashi Week, an event at which MC alumni return to campus to volunteer their time for service projects. KT weekend is built on the same concept, but it allows current students the opportunity to give back to the MC community.
The project is one created by the Non-Profit Leadership Alliance. Junior MC student Spencer Blanden claims that this project is one born out of a commitment to values.
“The idea came about initially during a focus group meeting meant to discuss changing the college’s website,” Blanden said. “The students there were concerned with the use of the word tradition on the website because they did not necessarily feel like there was a lot of tradition at the college. That’s when the idea for Kin Takahashi Weekend came up.”
Starting on Friday afternoon, students will be invited to take part in volunteer activities for the duration of the evening. These will be smaller tasks to set up for the majority of the work that will take place the following day. Saturday’s events will last all day until 4 p.m. and end with a cookout.
Much of the work will be done around the Crawford House, specifically in the yard and surrounding fence. Snacks and water will be provided to participants throughout the day and free t-shirts will be given to a certain number of students.
Elizabeth Hiatt, MC senior, believes that KT Weekend will be an opportunity for students to contribute to the college in a meaningful way.
“We thought it would be wonderful to do something that would give back to MC, hence the student-centered KT Weekend idea,” Hiatt said. “We think it is a great way for students to not only give back to the school, but also continue Maryville’s legacy of service and stewardship.”
This idea of legacy is one strongly supported by Cole Piper, faculty member and leader of the NLA.
“Students giving back to the college isn’t new,” Piper said.
Piper feels that the spirit of giving back benefits students as much as it does the college.
“Ultimately it’s for students by students,” Piper said. “It’s taking ownership of the place you call home.”
KT weekend represents an opportunity for students to come together for a cause. This gathering is one that can be inspiring, productive and even fun.
Stacey Padilla, MC sophomore, is excited about the project.
“I’m not usually somebody who gets into school spirit, but I’m really looking forward to seeing students do something for our school,” Padilla said. “I think it’s such a great idea for us to take responsibility for our space.”
If the event is a success, there is a chance it could be the first of many.
Like Kin Takahashi Week, which is held annually each summer, KT Weekend has the potential to become a regular event.
“We were definitely inspired by the alumni who come out for KT Week in the summer,” Hiatt said.
Like MC alumni, current MC students have the opportunity to create a legacy of their own.
“I hope that Kin Takahashi Weekend becomes an annual event. If alumni come for Kin Takahashi Week every summer, then we should match that with our weekend,” Padilla said.
This event is expected to make a lasting impact and Blanden says that he is grateful for all those taking part.
“I just want to stress that the credit for this event be given to all the great students involved, specifically the students in NLA and Habitat for Humanity, who have worked very hard to make this weekend happen,” Blanden said. “In addition, I think credit should be given to all the students who are going to give up their time to participate in helping to make MC a better place.”