One of the greatest joys of working in higher education is the opportunity to watch the growth of students as they are exposed to new academic lessons, new people and cultures, and new ideals. During a time of life dedicated to growth, these experiences impact each individual student in a combination of different ways that bring to life our Graceland values.
The greatest impact, however, often is experienced by those of us who get to watch the transformation and, in some cases, experience action inspired by such growth to the point that we are ourselves inspired to do good.
As you read about the current Graceland students highlighted in this issue, I believe you will get a taste of what those of us who know these and other students are privileged to witness: like many of our alumni with varying years of life experience behind them, these students are already making a difference in the world, even as they are just learning how.
With a heritage rooted in the liberal arts and values that promote action toward a better world, our exceptional faculty and staff, accomplished and caring alumni, and even other students create an environment in which Graceland graduates are set up to succeed.
It is awe-inspiring to be part of a place that supports not only an academic, athletic and social experience that leads to the development of such impressive world citizens, but to watch that citizenship take form right before our eyes.
From students working to depolarize political engagement, to students working toward a greener tomorrow, students who simply go out of their way every day to have a positive impact on those around them, and students who choose to volunteer their time to organizations that support some of the most vulnerable kids … we are proud of our students and the ways they are changing the world for the better.
As we learn about these and other stories of students doing great things, we are reminded that Graceland has always been student-centered. This year, we have placed even more of an intentional focus to lift up our students and, through the power of together, continue to make Graceland an even stronger institution. We aspire to graduate individuals who build better lives, better communities and a better society, and we do this together through a strong commitment to our core values of learning, wholeness and community.