In May 2003, I was able to complete my Project Pericles sabbatical. I was glad to be able to work at my church, Brown Wesleyan. I helped out the church in several ways. One of the projects was working in the educational building. I painted several rooms and helped to build a barn for one of the children's Sunday School classrooms.
I did a lot of landscaping around the church. I mowed, pruned trees, and replanted flower beds.
I also rebuilt the handicap ramp at the youth building and repaired several broken pews in the sanctuary.
I think this was a great opportunity, and I appreciate the chance Elon University gave me to work in the community.
Below is a letter from Pastor Larry Pope of Brown Wesleyan Church
August 11, 2003
Dear Elon Administration:
On behalf of the ministry and congregation here at Brown Wesleyan Church, I wanted to extend our appreciation for your very practical support of the communities surrounding your campus.
All too often we hear about the humanitarian efforts and philosophies of our institutions for higher learning, but experience very little impact within the community. I salute your passion to not only think differently, but also apply your vision in tangible and influential ways.
During the month of May 2003, Mr. Ray Pruitt served in a sabbatical role as an extension of good will from Elon University. The spirit that he brought to our facilities and ministry, coupled with the expertise and professionalism, cannot be measured in terms of money nor vocabulary. He represented your program and vision in a way that radically changed our perspective and lifted our dreams to a new level.
Through practical tasks (painting, carpentry, electrical, landscaping, etc.) Ray was able to impact our corner of the world with the blessing and fingerprints of Elon University.
I am convinced that learning at a higher level can actually impact body, soul and spirit. That by learning we actually influence living. You have proved to us here at Brown Wesleyan that Elon University not only fills the heads of an up and coming generation but you also touch the hearts of many in the surrounding area.
Once again, I thank you for your vision that lifts, and for your mission that touches in ways that will live on forever. You have a friend in the Gibsonville area.
Pastor Larry Pope
Below is a letter from Ray's supervisor
This is in regards to you asking me what I thought about the Project Pericles. One of the first thoughts I had was that I am awful proud to have an employee and friend to be selected for a Sabbatical especially on the ground floor of this great foregoing Project. It is a great way for Elon to share a hard working citizen with the community. When I see a volunteer I think of them as natural born leader and hard working leaders can make a community accomplish great goals. I am sure your Church and Fire Department feel grateful to have a leader like you working with their youth and sharing your many skills with them.
Project Pericles is an exciting way to bring our community together with our students to show the world how committed Elon University is to community and developing leaders for now and the future. It is hard to educate folks just in the class room, so this makes Pericles even more important because it is education outside the classroom. It gives students the chances at experiencing community service during their college years and this helps them see that working together you can accomplish more. Working hard outside the classroom with volunteer organizations gives us first hand experience of learning from other leaders of the community.