Principal Randy Boyagoda to Give Preview of Gilson Seminar During Spring Reunion

By: Martyn Wendell Jones

St. Mike’s Principal and Vice President Randy Boyagoda will deliver a lecture entitled “The World is Charged with Faith and Beauty: Three Writers, Three Visions“ during Spring Reunion, giving alumni and St. Mike’s community members a chance to experience a taste of the upcoming Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas.

Part of the “Stress Free” lecture series that the University of Toronto hosts each year during the alumni weekend gathering, Prof. Boyagoda’s talk will explore how the literary art of three important writers was inspired and formed by their faith to evoke the beauty of the natural world. Each of the major monotheistic religions is represented in Prof. Boyagoda’s lecture, which will highlight the Catholic priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), the Muslim playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar (b. 1970), and the Jewish novelist György Spiró (b. 1946).

Alumni, students, and interested members of the broader community are all invited to attend the talk, which will offer a preview of what students will experience in the upcoming Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas. The exclusive two-part course for first-year students explores “the intersection of faith with today’s most important questions,” and includes readings from the work of the writers featured in Prof. Boyagoda’s lecture. The seminar culminates in a trip to Rome during the Summer term.

Prof. Boyagoda’s “Stress Free” lecture will take place on Saturday, June 3 at 2:30 PM in Father Madden Hall, which is located in Carr Hall. St. Mike’s will also be hosting a variety of events on campus for Spring Reunion, including an anniversary mass, alumni parties, an anniversary brunch, and a walking tour. A full itinerary and registration form can be found here. Alumni are invited to RSVP for Prof. Boyagoda’s lecture by sending an email to

Martyn Wendell Jones is a writer in the Office of Communications at the University of St. Michael’s College