The burn is an annual event at Linfield and draws a large crowd of students and community members. Participants inscribe their burdens and hopes on prayer flags and slips of paper, which they feed to the flames. After the fire dies down, celebrators roast marshmallows over the flames.
“For hundreds of years, humans have used fire for purification,” says art Professor Totem Shriver, whose students created the sculpture. “Fire represents something primeval and mystical.”
The small school in Oregon is recognized for its liberal arts and sciences curriculum, along with its professional programs. The college offers a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, and half of all liberal arts graduates have participated in a study abroad program outside the U.S.
Students and faculty have a strong commitment to social engagement, and the school has been nationally recognized for sustainability initiatives, student outreach to disadvantaged youth and the homeless, and support of low-income, first-generation college students.