Jowel Iranzi to Speak at Springfield College on Overcoming Hardship

Luke Brown
Assistant Online Editor




Springfield College’s Spiritual Life will be hosting Jowel Iranzi, a Holocaust Committee Speaker, on Thursday at noon in Marsh Memorial. All are welcomed.

“Spiritual Life does a great job at unifying people that seem to have little in common,” says Springfield College sophomore Mitch Goldman, “It’s exceptional how they make everyone feel welcome and furthermore included. That may seem simple but making people with completely different opinions on theology feel connected in a spiritual event is not always quite that simple.”

Undeniably guest speakers on Alden Street during this academic calendar, such as Dr. Richard Leakey and ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo, have been a success, to say the least. Mr. Iranzi looks to join that list by captivating students and faculty with his unique story, yet he differs from Leakey and Lobo because Iranzi attends classes at Springfield College.

Iranzi was born in Zaire, which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. With war all-around, an abnormal childhood became the norm. The options were both dangerous: stay or flee. They chose the latter, as his father moved the family to Rwanda and then to Burundi.

Happily ever after was not even a thought, let alone an option. In 2003, he and his father departed Burundi for Tanzania; his father died in the process and his mother and brother remain in Burundi to this day.Although 12-years have passed and Iranzi has set home in the land of opportunity, it is still hard for him to think that he left his younger brother.

After six months of being homeless, the Springfield resident joined a refugee camp. The calendar flipped five times while Iranzi was in the camp. Many are not capable of withstanding that much adversity, but Iranzi is a rare breed that shows not to give up.“After briefly hearing Jowel Iranzi’s story, I already feel like it’s impossible to not be motivated by it,” said Tim Parker, who is a sophomore at Springfield College.In 2010, Iranzi entered the home of the brave, and now studies social work at Springfield College. He is expected to graduate in May.


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