Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

The Fairfield Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports: @DAVID_LYNCH addresses @MaharishiU graduates

June 20, 2016

Lynch addresses M.U.M. graduates

By ANDY HALLMAN Ledger news editor | Jun 20, 2016

David Lynch

Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo: Filmmaker David Lynch addresses the graduating students of Maharishi University of Management Saturday in the Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome. In the fall of 2013, the university debuted the David Lynch Master of Arts in Film program.

Saturday was a gorgeous day for a graduation as 366 students at Maharishi University of Management received their degrees in the Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome.

The list of graduates included 268 graduate students and 98 undergraduates from 53 countries. The foreign country with the most students graduating was Ethiopia with 42, followed by China with 41. Nepal, Egypt and Bangladesh each had at least 10 students graduating. Nearly one half of the students graduating, 168, earned their degrees in computer science.

The graduating class included a few interesting pairs. Touch Phai and his son Pakrigna Phai, both from Cambodia, had the honor of receiving their degrees together Saturday. Brothers Christian and Nicolas Martina from Argentina graduated together, as did the brother-sister pair of Naamee and Nahshon Yisrael from Chicago.

The commencement speaker was someone the students and faculty have come to know well: filmmaker David Lynch. M.U.M. president Bevan Morris read a long list of accolades Lynch has earned in his career, such as his Golden Globe for Best TV Series for his 1990–1991 show “Twin Peaks,” which he is filming a new season of that will air in 2017.

Adam Delfiner, Afomeya Bekele, Asaad Saad, Laure Muzzarelli

(left to right) Adam Delfiner, Afomeya Bekele, Asaad Saad, Laura Muzzarelli

Lynch’s speech was unconventional in that rather than deliver prepared remarks, he asked four graduating students to join him on stage and ask him questions. He insisted that he not be told of the questions ahead of time. The four students selected for this honor were Afomeya Bekele, Asaad Saad, Adam Delfiner and Laura Muzzarelli.

The students asked the accomplished filmmaker a wide range of questions about what makes a meaningful life, what the world will look like in 10 years and whether he would have done anything differently in his youth.

When Bekele learned she was one of the students who would ask Lynch questions, she turned to Facebook for advice on what questions to ask. She asked him when it was appropriate to trust one’s intuition, to which Lynch said that intuition should generally be trusted and that it was the No. 1 tool for artists, businessmen and women and many other careers.

Bekele said she particularly liked what Lynch said about getting ideas, which was that they are not so much invented as “caught.”

Saad is a computer science major and a graduate instructor. He sent emails to his students to ask what questions to ask, then chose the best ones. He asked Lynch about his interactions with the founder of the university, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Lynch has begun filming scenes for a documentary on Maharishi’s time traveling from northern to southern India, and Saad was curious when the documentary would be finished.

Lynch said of Maharishi that he was the “greatest master who ever walked the earth” and he gave out profound knowledge during his lifetime. Lynch said there were two keys to a better life: practicing Transcendental Meditation and drinking coffee.

On the question about his documentary of Maharishi, Lynch said that he was busy with the third season of “Twin Peaks,” but that once that is finished, he would be able to devote more time to finishing his other projects.

Andrew Rushing

Andrew Rushing

Andrew Rushing, who majored in Maharishi Vedic Science, was the school’s valedictorian and also gave a speech. Rushing said he had little more than a week to prepare his speech.

“My goal was to inspire the 2016 class to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and to encourage them to do great things,” he said.

During his speech, Rushing told the audience, “Just by being your true self, you act as a conduit for goodness in the world.”

Runzjao Xie

Runzjao Xie

Twenty-year-old business student Runzhao Xie was recognized as the youngest graduate. Xie graduated from Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in 2012, and said he could have graduated from M.U.M. as early as last year but a professor whose class he needed was not available to teach it.

“My parents were both in education, so that got me interested in academics at a young age,” he said.

Xie said he specialized in accounting and took five accounting classes in a row before university officials advised him to branch out into other subjects. He has a summer internship with Andrew Bargerstock, chair of the accounting department.

John Hagelin

Physics professor John Hagelin speaks about the exciting opportunities and responsibilities he will have Sept. 12 when he becomes the university’s new president, taking over from Bevan Morris, who held the position for 36 years.

Also announced during Saturday’s ceremonies was that John Hagelin will become the university’s new president effective Sept. 12, known as Founder’s Day at the university. He will assume the role held by Bevan Morris for the past 36 years. For the first time in its history, M.U.M. awarded post-doctoral degrees Saturday, which it bestowed upon both Morris and Hagelin. (Correction: These new post-doctoral degrees were announced and described, but will be bestowed on Drs. Morris and Hagelin Sept. 12, 2016.)

Hagelin has been a member of the faculty at M.U.M. since 1984. In addition to teaching physics, he has held many positions of leadership such as director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy and president of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.

Reprinted with permission. All photos taken by Andy Hallman for Ledger photo. The 4 photos, embedded here in the article where relevant, are in an online slideshow format, with their captions, underneath David’s photo, starting with John Hagelin. The article and 5 photos appear on the front page of Monday’s Ledger concluding on page 7.

Related news: @DAVID_LYNCH answers questions from students as part of the 2016 Commencement @MaharishiU | The Hawk Eye’s Bob Saar: Filmmaker David Lynch gives MUM commencement address in Fairfield and KTVO’s Stephen Sealey reported on Maharishi University’s special graduation ceremony.

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The Hawk Eye’s Bob Saar: Filmmaker David Lynch gives MUM commencement address in Fairfield

June 20, 2016

Filmmaker David Lynch gives MUM commencement address in Fairfield

Physicist John Hagelin named new president as Bevan Morris steps down.

By BOB SAAR for The Hawk Eye | June 19, 2016

Cody Weber/ for The Hawk Eye Filmmaker David Lynch speaks Saturday at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield. Lynch was featured and feted at the 41st commencement ceremony with graduates from 53 countries in attendance.

Cody Weber/ for The Hawk Eye
Filmmaker David Lynch speaks Saturday at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield. Lynch was featured and feted at the 41st commencement ceremony with graduates from 53 countries in attendance. (click to expand photo)

FAIRFIELD — The 41st commencement ceremony at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield began with hundreds of graduates and their family and friends filling the Golden Dome with “America, the Beautiful” backed by the Metropolitan Brass Quintet of Des Moines.

The fact people from 53 countries were in the room participating gives one hope the mission of MUM and its representatives could be viable: world peace.

“If there’s anyplace on this globe where nations are truly united, that place is here,” said MUM executive vice president Craig Pearson.

Among the 366 students receiving degrees Saturday, 42 Ethiopians and 41 Chinese were outnumbered only by American students.

Nepal, Egypt and Bangladesh had hefty handfuls of graduates as well, including a father-and-son pair of co-grads from Cambodia.

Retiring MUM president Bevan Morris, along with his named successor, world-renowned physicist John Hagelin, presented keynote speaker and filmmaker David Lynch with an honorary Doctorate of Peace for his life work seeking to unite people around the world.

Morris listed many of Lynch’s accolades, including four Academy Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, Best Director award from seven film societies, the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival in France — the list goes on.

Lynch’s landmark ABC-TV series that ran 1990-91, “Twin Peaks,” garnered 18 Emmy nominations in its first two — and only — seasons.

And, of course, someone’s cellphone clarioned during Lynch’s introduction. No one minded it any more than they minded the small flock of children chirping at the back of the Dome, having fun on the bouncy meditational mattresses that replaced stiff, rigid stacking chairs.

Lynch, with a hard-earned reputation for quirkiness and individual thought, dispensed with a speech in favor of a question-and-answer session with four graduating students who joined him on stage.

“I did not do all those things they mentioned earlier,” Lynch quipped.

Q: How do we reconcile having a job without a purpose in life?

Lynch: Chances are you will find work you love.

Q: What’s one thing you learned on your film sets?

Lynch: Always have the final cut.

Asked to tell an anecdote about the Maharishi, whom Lynch met or tele-conversed many times, Lynch called the leader of Transcendental Meditation “the greatest master who ever walked the earth.”

Q: Can you tell us a moment when you fell in love with an idea?

Lynch likened ideas to fish: “We don’t make the fish, we catch the fish.”

Asked to define consciousness — he is the founder and chairman of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-based Education and World Peace — he said: “Without consciousness we couldn’t exist, and if we didn’t exist, we wouldn’t know it.”

His definition of a good leader was “someone who inspires others” and asked to define peace, he said, “Real peace is not just the absence of war; it’s the absence of all negativity.”

And so it went, but just as his commencement Q&A was coming to a close, Lynch talked about long ago when he was in school:

“I hated school,” he told the graduates. “I hated almost every minute in school. It was so boring. I don’t think I learned anything.”

Ah, but the people in the Golden Dome did not agree, and David Lynch took his seat to a standing ovation.

Andrew Rushing, valedictorian, summed up the collective consciousness of the people in the room when he said, “David Lynch is the king of cool.”

The students who received diplomas Saturday not only know they exist, they know what they’re going to do next.

Whatever they do, it’s going to be good.

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Here is a PDF of what the article looks like in the Sunday issue of The Hawk Eye: Filmmaker David Lynch gives MUM commencement address in Fairfield.

Related news: @DAVID_LYNCH answers questions from students as part of the 2016 Commencement @MaharishiU | KTVO’s Stephen Sealey reported on Maharishi University’s special graduation ceremony and The Fairfield Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports: @DAVID_LYNCH adresses @MaharishiU graduates

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New study shows TM significantly improved school graduation rates, world press reports

June 14, 2013

New Transcendental Meditation Study Published in Education

This week the world press have been reporting on a collaborative study conducted by researchers Robert Colbert of the University of Connecticut and Sanford Nidich of Maharishi University of Management on meditation and graduation rates. The study, Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Graduation, College Acceptance and Dropout Rates for Students Attending an Urban Public High School, was funded by the David Lynch Foundation, and published in the journal Education, Vol. 133, No. 4, Summer 2013.

The new study is the first to look at the effect of Transcendental Meditation practice on graduation, college acceptance and dropout rates, and follows previously published research by Nidich et al on increased academic achievement and reduced psychological stress in urban school students. The press release, Transcendental Meditation positively impacts student graduation rates, new research shows, included two graphs, and was sent out worldwide to over 5000 science writers by EurekAlert!/AAAS. Here is the Summary and citation for this latest study:

High school graduation rates remain low with racial and ethnic gaps adding to the decline. Graduating versus dropping out translates into higher earning potential, less crime and incarceration, and less dependence on government assistance. A new study published in the journal Education shows practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique resulted in a 15 percent higher graduation rate compared to controls. In low academically performing students a 25 percent difference in graduation rates was observed.

Colbert, R.D. and Nidich, S. (2013). Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Graduation, College Acceptance and Dropout Rates for Students Attending an Urban Public High School. Education, 133 (4), 495-501.

World Press Reports

Many science and medical news websites have reported the news, including PhysOrg; ScienceBlog; Science Codex; RedOrbit; Medical Daily with the headline Transcendental Meditation Boosts High School Graduation Rates, As Policymakers Look To AlternativesMedical News Today; PsychCentral, with their succinct headline, Transcendental Meditation Linked to Higher Graduation Rates; The British Psychological Society, Meditation improves behaviour in school; Counsel & Heal; and examiner.com, How transcendental meditation impacts public high school graduation rates.

The mainstream press then reported the news, led by UK’s Richard Gray, respected science correspondent for The Telegraph, and his wonderfully topical and comprehensive piece, Transcendental Meditation may boost student grades. Underneath the top headline was one of the iconic photos of the Beatles with Maharishi in India and this subheading: It may have seemed simply a phase in pop history, but it seems the Beatles may have been on to something after all during their fabled journey to India.

This prompted Anna Hodgekiss of The Daily Mail to follow up with: The best way to boost brain power and improve exam grades? Chant ‘Om’ like the Beatles did, using an earlier picture of the Beatles with Maharishi taken at the London Hilton when they first met. BTW, there is no chanting in TM, and “Om” is never used.

These articles must have influenced The Times journalist William Chester to write, Exams go better with a Sixties mantra in mind, which was posted on the NW London TM Blog: Exams go better with a Sixties mantra in mind – The Times June 12th 2013.

Other international press also reported on the study. ANI sent out their version of the release and it was picked up by The Times of India, Transcendental meditation boosts grades, Newstrack India, OnePakistan, newKerala.com, and Medindia. India.NYDailyNews.com reproduced the Telegraph article but used a different photo of the Beatles, Donovan, Mia and Prudence Farrow with Maharishi in Rishikesh.

In Chile, the science journalist from El Mecurio, Sebastián Urbina, emailed questions about the study, which were answered by Sandy Nidich. I also suggested he interview Rafael de la Puenta, the TM national leader, and he did. The article appeared as the top story in their Life, Science and Technology section, A15, with a photo of a member of the Trinity College Women’s Squash Team meditating on the court. See a PDF of the article: www.meditacion.cl/prensa/MT_MERCURIO-Santiago-06-11-2013.pdf.

Other countries reporting on the study that we know of include France’s HuffPost C’est La Vie; Italy’s AGI; Spain’s Tendencias21 and La Razon; Holland’s Volkskrant; and Brazil’s Veja.

Some of the previous articles were reproduced on many blogs and websites. Will add any other newer articles as they are found. A few are slated to come out from reporters who asked for the paper, but this report should give you an idea of the kind of news coverage that came out on this promising study. For example, The TM Blog later reported New Study Finds Transcendental Meditation Boosts Student Grades, Graduation Rates.

See the Great article on TM helping students boost grades shows the Beatles were way ahead of their time. That article was later highlighted on the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education on their Spotlight page reporting the latest news: Transcendental Meditation May Boost Student Grades.


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