The Good Life Series

Our purpose is to engage many different perspectives that relate to how we might consider purpose, engagement, fulfillment, etc. as we advance through different periods of our life. We live in a time characterized by great anxiety. While learning about and understanding anxiety is a reasonable response, giving serious consideration to notions of the good life is another way to resist despair. In this series we aim to benefit from the insights of many disciplines and to think critically about our individual and collective goals and aspirations relating to the good life.

Dana Souders

Licensed Massage Therapist and Life Coach

Pursuing the Good Life During a Pandemic: Pause, Connect, Pivot and Re-Design

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event
Live Stream Link (available at 6:50 p.m. on day of event)

We have globally found ourselves in a collective pause from our daily routines and activities.  And in many ways life is now forever changed of how we will move forward.  We are at a crossroads of sorts.  Our nervous systems can be getting quite a workout these past weeks and months and it is important that we meet ourselves and each other with grace.  This talk will include some reflections regarding awareness and what happens in our bodies when we are in extended periods of stress and fight/flight/freeze response.  Some tools on how to calm the stress response by self regulating and co-regulating.  Join in as we explore some ways to support one another in finding our center in the dynamic sea of information and energy.  The Good Life, according to Souders, means being able to create a safe haven for ourself and each other as well as a launching pad of re-designing our lives anew as we move forward.

*Special note to the seniors. Souders acknowledges that many of you may be experiencing a vast range of emotions, possibly high levels of grief or anxiety as a rite of passage in graduating is not unfolding as planned.  Although we cannot change the event that has interrupted the graduating activities…. we surely can honor you and hold you with an open hand as you navigate these uncharted waters.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and is part of it’s The Good Life Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Dana M. Souders is a licensed massage therapist of 22 years, life coach, astrologer and facilitator of awareness and curiosity. She believes we each carry our own answers and are on a path of coming home to ourself. Souders has completed studies in many schools and intensive trainings over her years of service to the community. Her personal journey of having a real and direct experience through life’s pain and joys has been the wisest life lesson of them all. Souder’s greatest devotion and service is creating a space of freedom and love for people to hear their own voice, to find their True North and to live a life that is congruent to the essence of who they are. For over two decades, she has witnessed and supported clients navigating the cycles and seasons of what it is to be wholeheartedly human.  It has been an honor for her to be able to walk with people as they meet their greatest fears and joys. Relationship ruptures and repairs, holding better boundaries, letting go of an old life through divorce or a job change, being with the death of a loved one, retirement, starting businesses, and exploring creative adventures. She bridges a vision of “The Middle Way” where it is possible for us all to be our authentic selves as well as being deeply connected to others.


* 1998 Graduate of The Alternative Conjunction Clinic & School of Massage Therapy in Pennsylvania  (1 year program)

*  2011 Graduate of The Pennsylvania School of Spiritual Healing  (2 year program)

*  2015 Graduate of The Unfolding Moment (2 year program) Based on the work of Barbara Brennan. With a focus in Energetic Anatomy   and how to work with the psychology of the character structures (Schizoid, Oral, Masochistic, Psychopath, Rigid).

*  2015-2016 Completed a (18 month) Cosmic Consciousness Astrology Program By: Stephanie Azaria. Became a Certified Astrologer.

*  2016-2017 Completed a (6 month) Tiospaye-Making relatives Leadership Program.

Level 1 consisted of unpacking and looking at the belief systems that make up our lives. Relationship dynamics.

Level 2  breaking through to new paradigms of leadership, team and responsibility.  Opportunity to redesign ourselves and our worlds.

Level 3 Leadership actively giving back to our communities through right relationship with power and utilizing the “Pillars of Leadership”.  Contribution !!

*  2017 Support staff for level 1 & 2 of the leadership program.

*  2017 – 2018  Graduate of Elevate Life Coaching and Facilitation  (1 year program)

*  2018 Completed Trance Dance Facilitator Program by: Wilbert Alix in Portugal (2 weeks) Utilizing dance and music as a tool to empty out the 4 bodied system (Spiritual, Mental, Emotional,   Physical).  Really love the science and spirituality bridge in this work.

* 2018 Completed Embodiment AND Polarity Teacher Training by: Michaela Boehm and Steve James (2 weeks)  Learned techniques and how to facilitate Non-Linear Movement Method for the    purpose of emptying out the nervous system.  The Polarity teacher training consisted of learning and facilitating 3 groups of exercises. Intimacy, Heart and Polarity.  The first building block of practices brought in intimacy with self.  Knowing what is happening in your own body as well as practicing attunement in noticing what is unfolding in the other person’s experience.   The second building block was connecting deeper with your own heart and bringing alive compassion for the heart of the other.  Now that sameness has been established we moved into learning how to facilitate Polarity exercises that evoke a sense of magnetism from being different. Working with the Organizing Principle (masculine) and Creative Principle (Feminine) and how they can dance in harmony.

* 2019-2020 Deep Psychology of Intimate Relationship (9 month program) Curriculum includes learning how to have lasting, powerful, and supportive relationships with your partner, family, friends and colleagues, for life.  Course work includes: Human development.  Attachment styles that get developed in childhood which in turn get unconsciously played out in adulthood until we become aware of our unconscious patterns of relating.  How to “fight fair” and have a healthy relationship to conflict and repair that builds trust.  How our Nervous System works and how we can interrupt the flight, fight, freeze cycles.



Bill Durden ’71

International University Alliance (IUA)

An Anticipatory Memoir: Aging on the Diagonal

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Advanced age – or what is commonly called “The Third Chapter” – arguably remains without operative definition, although so many citizens globally are entering that phase of life. Based upon personal reflection, a definition is proposed for debate – a definition that could lead to a “Good Life.”

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and is part of our The Good Life series. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

William G. Durden is President Emeritus of Dickinson College, where he served for 14 years (1999-2013). During his tenure at Dickinson he was both a professor of German and a professor of Education. He is currently president of the International University Alliance (IUA), a non-profit association of top-tier U.S. research universities committed to international education (sponsored by Shorelight), chief global engagement officer at Shorelight, a courtesy professor (research) in the School of Education, Johns Hopkins University and an operating partner of Sterling Partners, a diversified investment management platform founded in 1983 and based in Chicago with branch offices in Baltimore and Miami.

Durden received his undergraduate degree from Dickinson College (1971) in German and philosophy and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in German language and literature from Johns Hopkins University. Directly following graduation from Dickinson, he was a Fulbright-Hays Scholar at the University of Basle, Switzerland. He has also studied at the University of Freiburg and the University of Muenster, Germany. He was a Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University and American Council of Learned Societies’ Fellow in Wolfenbuettel, Germany. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army, Military Intelligence Branch and most recently chaired the Middle States accreditation process for the United States Military Academy (West Point).

Directly prior to his 14-year tenure at Dickinson College, Durden was simultaneously president of a division of the Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. (today Laureate Education, Inc.) and vice president of academic affairs for the Caliber Learning Network—a joint venture of MCI and Sylvan. Prior to Sylvan, Durden was a member of the German department at the Johns Hopkins University and founding executive director of the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) for 16 years. During his Hopkins’ engagement at CTY, he was also a senior education consultant to the U.S. Department of State for 11 years and chaired the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth.  He served as a “private tutor” to then Prime Minister Tony Blair on the topic of talent development and global competitiveness.

Durden served as chair of the advisory board of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (the Faculty Fulbright program) and as a member of the board of trustees of the Institute of International Education (IIE) as well as chair of the German Chancellors Fellowship U.S. Selection Committee (Humboldt Foundation). He was a trustee of St. Paul’s School (MD) and Indian Mountain School (CT). He currently serves as a trustee of Walden University and Squashwise Baltimore, a non-profit organization to help Baltimore City youth achieve their academic goals through squash and associated academic tutoring. He is also chair of the board of trustees of Columbia College Hollywood/Flashpoint College, Chicago, a joint non-profit, higher education institution focused on the liberal arts, the arts, film and media. He was appointed to the honorary council of LEAD WITH LANGUAGES campaign commencing March 1, 2017. This campaign was undertaken at the bipartisan request of the U.S. Congress. He was also appointed in 2019 as Ambassador to Maryland (USA) for the University of Freiburg, Germany.

Durden has published and spoken widely on topics ranging from German literature to gifted and talented education, international education policy, higher education, first-generation college students, international education, the distinctiveness of U.S. higher education and the liberal arts. His most recent publication appeared in the London Times (and was reprinted in PIE) and is entitled, ”Can an American Liberal Arts Approach Improve the British Higher Education System” and he is currently writing about what he is calling “precision education.”

Reference Materials

Living on the Diagonal and Other Selected Writings, by William G. Durden
Leading Minds, by Howard Gardner
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong
Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To, by David A. Sinclair with Matthew D LaPlante
The Third chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years AFTER 50, by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot.

Video of the Lecture

Gene Dykes

Gene Dykes PosterRecord-Holding Master Marathoner

Just Run

Monday, November 11, 2019
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Dykes will explore the many ways running is made overly complicated and how both running and your life can be made so much more enjoyable by employing his “Just Run” philosophy.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Athletics and the Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement. This event was also the first program that is part of our new The Good Life series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Gene Dykes was born in Canton, OH in 1948. He lived there until he attended Lehigh University, graduating in 1970 with a B.A. in chemistry.  After two years in the army, serving in Vietnam and Japan, Dykes received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1978.  He then embarked upon a career in computer programming until he retired in 2012.  He married in 1982, and along with his wife, raised two daughters who now reside in San Francisco and Minneapolis.  His wife is a professor of economics in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dykes ran track in high school and college, but for most of his life was an occasional jogger.  At age 50, he tore his hamstring and was unable to run at all for six years.  Once he healed, he began running for enjoyment again. At age 58 he ran the New York City Marathon, his first 26.2.  Next month he will complete his 120th marathon by running the New York City Marathon for the second time.  He has also completed many ultra marathons.  In the last two years he set 14 national age group records and won 15 national championships at distances from 3K to 100 miles.  Last December he ran the world’s fastest marathon for age 70, 2:54:23, and this spring he broke the Boston Marathon age group course record by almost 20 minutes.

Related Links

Runner’s World interview:

Fox29 Interview:

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Video of the Lecture