Unification News for March 2000

New Eden Academys First Graduation

by Dan SteinBridgeport, CT

When New Eden Academy International opened with 44 pioneer students in 1997, the idea was to launch a school dedicated to meet the needs of a growing "second generation." New Eden is a preparatory high school "committed to promoting moral integrity and academic excellence." To achieve those high ideals has been a challenge and an opportunity.

On June 1, fifteen students will graduate from New Eden Academy in a ceremony conducted at the Littlefield Auditorium on the campus of the University of Bridgeport.

"This class of 2,000 is the first fruits of New Eden, and we are proud of all of our graduates," says Dr. Hugh Spurgin, the principal. The graduates are Christa Berndt, Jimi Baughman, Lym Choong Kim, Takami Koya, Sanghoon Mudgett, Megumi Osa, Mika Nakata, Kazuko Nakamura, Tadayoshi Nakamura, K. Tomeda, Kozo Tomeda, Christopher Stein, David Tallakson, Akira Washino, and Timothy Yasutake. Each graduating student will receive a specially designed, class ring.

All fifteen graduates intend to pursue higher education, although several students may defer attending college to spend one year on the Student Task Force (STF). Most of the graduates intend to go to the University of Bridgeport where many of them have already completed up to 12 college credits while still in high school. Indeed, most NEA students have done very well in the university classes which they have taken.

According to Mrs. Nora Spurgin, the vice-principal and dean of students,

"It is exciting to prepare for this great event. We have not yet decided on a commencement speaker, nor has the valedictorian been announced. These students are the pioneers of NEA, committed to each other and to True Parents ideal for creation of a safe haven where the second generation can expand their minds and develop their character."

When our True Parents visited the Academy on November 20, 1998, the students excitedly lined the entrance way and sang songs, happily welcoming them. It was the first time for many of them to stand so close to our True Father and Mother. At that time, Father wrote in Chinese characters a motto for the school that has been translated to mean: "The results (or flowering) of an adults life depend on the decisions (or determination) a person makes as a youth."

Commenting on the graduates, Dr. Spurgin observed, "The world needs young leaders who will go beyond the desire for wealth and power that the contemporary world has taught them. To become model citizens, students need a systematic approach to understand the nuances of the life of the heart, as well as the academic exercise of the mind."

"Through the character education program, indeed through the unique curriculum of the school, we have sought to translate those Principled ideals into everyday life. Yet it is a challenge for teenagers to grow to become responsible, moral, loving adults who have the self-discipline to live a meaningful and good life. We hope our graduates can become such spiritually mature men and women."

Contact info: New Eden Academy, 400 Linden Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 . Phone: (203) 334-3434 Fax: (203) 334-8651 Email: <neweden@erols.com>

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