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The Essence of Our Journey

November 10, 2010

Recently, I realized that many of the students that I have grown to know over the years will be graduating from Cheyney University in May 2011. While I am happy for them, and I treasure the time that I had watching their personal development and intellectual refinement, I realize that I would have to let these talented students go on with their personal journeys through life and get to know other students who will soon arrive at Cheyney University to pursue their dreams.

As we move towards the Thanksgiving season, I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have had to help shape the lives of so many students with hope in their eyes who will become the America of the future.

Yes, the talented Chris Carter, SGCA president, trumpeter, and civic leader who will soon graduate, will attend law school, and probably help to shape national policies. Kevin Walker plans to pursue his MBA and eventually work in a high-powered financial institution. Ms. Brittani Christian, our poised and positive Miss Cheyney, seems destined to continue to improve the lives of others after she leaves Cheyney University.

Of course there are many other students who will continue their personal journeys of discovery who will contribute to the intellectual capital and workforce talent in their communities throughout their lives. These students will make us proud, and they will continue to strengthen the name of Cheyney University. All of these students have helped me understand more about my purpose in life and the essential connectedness needed between generations in order to build a better and stronger America—and a more humane world.

This semester we experienced a six percent increase in enrollment, so there will be even more students to get to know and to appreciate in the coming years. As a campus community, we will have the opportunity to influence the academic, social, and personal development of these students for the next several years. Through the newly launched University College Initiative (UCI), we hope to help engage these students and to broaden their exposure to an array of academic, social, and cultural experiences.

This Thanksgiving season, it is gratifying to know that we are part of something much larger than ourselves—an educational institution that was constructed to provide access, opportunity, and excellence in the early 19th Century. Each of the students mentioned earlier, and many others not mentioned, realize their responsibility to prepare for helping to solve some of our most difficult social problems. Some, for example, serve as mentors for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southeastern, PA–even before they graduate. Others volunteer to return to their high schools to encourage younger students to seek a higher education in critical STEM areas to keep the United States as competitive as possible.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to reflect with gratitude on our chance to share in the lives of these talented and promising young Americans. If you would like to support our efforts to build a nation of contributing and responsible Americans, please feel free to contact me.
Michelle
 

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