Jun 10 2019

Dunn and Done: OCBC President & CEO Lucy Dunn Returns from 90-Day Sabbatical

On June 7, I returned from a 90-day sabbatical, generously approved by OCBC’s Board of Directors, with OCBC managed during my absence by a great staff team effort lead by our COO, Natalie Rubalcava. Thank you to them all! It will take me some time to process it all but this chance to explore new ideas, travel, connect opportunities, gather inspiration and information to enhance the creative output was timed just right for me.

One of the most interesting things was that I planned it as a series of “mental, physical and spiritual” exercises, yet surprisingly, the “spiritual” side took stage front and center in so many ways – from a three-day Lenten retreat with a Jesuit scholar from Australia, to a new study of archeology and art in all forms, to reading scripture, to meditation and – I’ve never done this before – journaling! Actually forcing myself to hand write out thoughts and ideas based upon what I was learning.

Many of you followed me on Facebook as I posted pictures and stories of almost four weeks’ of adventures through Europe on a river cruise. From the Netherlands, to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Romania. I think I’ve seen every castle ever built! 1000 miles cruising on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, through 66 locks, stopping at cities from Amsterdam, to Vienna, Bucharest, Budapest and Prague. I loved the smaller towns the best, walking anywhere from 3 to 11 miles per day (which also helped with the extensive wine and cheese consumption).

As I have previously written, in academia, the idea of a sabbatical has been around for years – some say with roots in the Hebrew bible when every seven years a Sabbath, or rest year, was commanded to give the land a break from farming.

Continuous improvement and renewal is important to balance physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual parts of us all. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do that and will share more of my adventures in weeks to come. 

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