On Wednesday, Oglethorpe junior Misty Love ’12 spent the afternoon in her dormitory kitchenette baking her grandmother’s special cornbread in preparation for that night’s Cultural Appreciation Day, sponsored by OU’s Rotaract Club. Misty, who serves as the club’s president, had been organizing the event for weeks, and she wanted to share with her fellow students a piece of her culture—Ma’ Dear’s signature cornbread.
“She was thrilled to share her secret recipe with me,” relates Misty. “I thought, love of food is universal—what better way to show my classmates where I’m from (Bainbridge, Georgia) than classic southern cornbread?”
At just over 200 miles from Oglethorpe, Bainbridge is close-by in comparison to some of the places other students represented at the event. Students from as far away as Costa Rica, Nepal, and Cameroon set up tables in the Emerson Student Center, featuring food, games, and decorations from their home countries.
In the midst of all of the mingling, matching, and munching, dozens of students listened intently to Kathryn Negrelli, Director of Development and Programming at the Japan-American Society of Georgia, as she explained to attendees the importance of donating whatever possible to Japan relief efforts.
“Since Rotaract’s mission is ‘Service Above Self’ we wanted to lend a helping hand to Japan in any way that we could, and encourage students to do so also,” said Misty. “We live in a very diverse world, and since the people in our age group are the future leaders of the world, I think it is important that we learn about and understand other peoples’ differences so that we can all work together to…build a better world.”