LXG recognized as exemplary program

By The Beacon | March 23, 2011 9:00pm

Portland’s Archbishop presented League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with a national award, recognizing the campus ministry program for facilitating personal development

(Bryan Brenize -- The Beacon)

By Jocelyne LaFortune, Staff Writer -- lafortun12@up.edu

On Thursday, March 10, Archbishop John Vlazny presented UP's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) with an award from the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA), recognizing the program as an exemplary campus ministry program.

About 50 students and faculty members attended the event, which was held in the Terrace Room.

LXG was recognized with an award for "Facilitating Personal Development," according to Director of Campus Ministry Josh Noem.

Each year, the Catholic Campus Ministry recognizes six campus ministry programs as exemplary programs. Programs receive the award for excelling in different areas such as forming the faith community, educating for justice and developing future leaders, according to the CCMA website.

Stacy Noem nominated LXG for the award, and the program was selected from nominations from across the country, according to Josh.

"It is a huge honor for the program," Josh said. "To be selected for this award, especially on a national level, is really incredible."

LXG also received the May Dunn award in October from the Northwest Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NWASAP). The award recognizes campus programs that display innovative programming, according to Josh.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen began four years ago with a just handful of freshman boys as a way to get more men involved in campus ministry. Now over 70 students participate in the program, along with 14 faculty and staff mentors.

LXG is built on four core values and ideas: brotherhood, the search for truth, justice and service and exploration of authentic masculinity. Students are challenged to explore the question, "Who am I, and what do I believe?"

"Something that you discover when you start talking about ‘Who am I?' is that you start talking about ‘Who am I going to become?,'" senior LXG member Jason Weeks said. "And that is what LXG is all about."

Students are divided into small groups, which meet every couple of weeks to participate in conversation about their experiences.

"The beauty of LXG is that it is so simple," Director of Student Activities and LXG mentor Jeromy Koffler said. "It is just us guys being guys."

In his brief address, Vlazny emphasized the importance of building meaningful relationships.

"They are not easy to form," Vlazny said. "But they are essential."

Vlazny also spoke of his childhood in Chicago, and how his move to Portland was made easier by the support of the community.

LXG gives UP's men the opportunity to form deep, meaningful relationships.

"The LXG meetings were the first times I felt comfortable being open with other guys," senior Nick Etzel said. "These are the guys I go to when I need to talk to someone."