Ivy Leaf - Winter 2013

Thoughts from the Chancellor

What Will You Leave Us This Time?


We recently held our fall commencement ceremony for our graduating students, celebrating their accomplishments with them and their friends and family. Commencement is the highlight of our academic year. It represents the culmination of years of hard work as well as hope for a bright future.

With many difficult challenges and tragedies in our world, it is sometimes challenging to stay focused on the future and the many positive things in our existence. Likewise, we may feel at times as though our work and actions cannot possibly make a difference in addressing complex societal challenges and issues. Commencement allows us to publicly acknowledge hard work, dedication, and success while also contemplating the future with optimism. It reminds us of the importance of our individual and collective work with our students and their potential to continue to better society. Working with our students and witnessing their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, determination to succeed, and their dedication to making a positive difference in their own lives, and the lives of others, I become energized and feel confident about the future.

I believe that we have a responsibility to focus our intellect, energies, and actions on doing good works and deeds. We must invest our time in things that are within our power to impact. When we apply our learning and talents to improve even a few aspects of the human condition, we build stronger communities and a better world. In this issue of Ivy Leaf you will be introduced to students, staff, and faculty who are inspiring examples of this kind of work.

In his song, “Oh Very Young,” Cat Stevens wrote the following lyrics: “Oh very young what will you leave us this time. You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while.” These lyrics remind us of our responsibility to act for the betterment of society during our lives. Despite the challenges and obstacles that we may face, we must focus on taking meaningful actions so that we may be agents for positive change and impact.

I hope that you will enjoy reading about the efforts of our students, staff, and faculty who are showcased in this issue and that, like them, you will be inspired to stretch yourself to dream, to accomplish, and to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others.