Singing Revolution: The Sound of a Free Nation

On the Level of Connection

Thanks to the exchanges of students, faculty, speakers and stories, there now exists a level of connection between Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Tartu.

Countryside of EstoniaNWU’s student body president, Jessica Danson, herself a Huge-NWU scholar, is now on her second study trip to Estonia, interning at the U.S. State Department Embassy in Tallinn. Assistant Professor of History Meghan Winchell is planning her own trip to Tartu as a part of this exchange. And in June 2011, Professor of Music William Wyman and the University Choir will add their voices to the singing in Estonia.

This generation of young Estonians recognizes that the hunger for freedom is connected to the hunger for learning. Those hungers come from the same place in our souls. And the free exchange of stories is likewise connected to the liberal arts tradition of education. They feed the same parts of our humanness.

During Kirss’s visit to campus, NWU faculty introduced her to the work of Mary Pipher, the former NWU psychology professor, anthropologist and bestselling author.

Kirss found a kindred spirit in Pipher’s books. She closed her lecture by quoting Pipher: “The death of an old person is like the burning of a library.” Kirss said, “I don’t think the study of life stories needs any more justification than that.”

Alumni and friends who support scholarships at NWU also believe that the denial of education to young people—be it for a lack of personal freedom or economic opportunity—is like the burning of the libraries they could become.

A strong and open NWU keeps our culture alive. In joining our stories together this way, we add voices to our own laulupidu—our own singing revolution.