This is a celebration. Who wouldn’t be proud of the accomplishments of the Graceland graduates featured here? And what I find even more exciting is that this is only the beginning of what we predict for their future.
One of Graceland’s three core values is wholeness, but wholeness is a process not an outcome. Wholeness is what we aspire to. It’s not like making a loaf of bread, where you throw together the ingredients, bake them, and out comes a finished loaf. The quest for wholeness is a never-ending journey, always in the making.
Wholeness in process happens at many levels at Graceland. In every decade of Graceland’s history, there have been faculty and staff who have invested themselves in the lives of their students — in the classroom and outside — modeling lives of purpose and service, and the pursuit of excellence. If you’re an alumnus, you can probably name those teachers and staff from your Graceland years who inspired you. I know I had mine.
The quest for wholeness is a never-ending journey, always in the making. wholeness in process happens at many levels at Graceland.”
Wholeness also permeates Graceland at an institutional level, addressing all aspects of who we are: our intelligence, emotions, body and spirit. Our housing system, fine arts and intramural programs bring together in community persons of diverse backgrounds. Lifelong friendships emerge that endure over space and time.
Graceland has been working hard in the past couple of years to integrate classes and Student Life activities to encourage students to find meaning and challenge all dimensions of their lives. As this happens, we watch wholeness merge with the university’s other two core values: learning and community.
We learn who we are and how we relate to our surroundings. We are not whole as individuals; we are social beings who need social connections. That acceptance gives us the courage and determination to reflect on our weaknesses as well as our strengths and to continue to strive for that elusive wholeness we have sensed in our days at Graceland.
Let’s celebrate. Let’s celebrate what we have accomplished together and how we can build on that. Together we celebrate the milestones along the way and the journey ahead.
In January, theatre major Haley Johnson ’19 placed first out of participants from 315 teams from seven states at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region V Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
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