Happy holidays and warm wishes for 2015. This is a very exciting time at K. We welcomed an outstanding class of 2018: 362 students from 30 states and 17 countries. The class is one of the most diverse in the College’s history. Thirty-two percent of its members identify themselves as domestic students of color. Ten percent are four-year degree-seeking international students. Many are the first in their families to attend college.
In September we dedicated the beautiful piece of architecture that houses our Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, and one week later the center convened its first biennial conference, gathering our learning community with social justice scholars and activists from across the globe. The purpose of the center folds beautifully into the goals of a liberal arts education at Kalamazoo College, one of which-as articulated by President Allan Hoben in the 1920s-is for each of us to identify a “charter of service” for humankind. To engage in that important pursuit, we study widely and with rigor. We cultivate the courage it requires to ask big questions and act upon the answers even if they differ from conventional wisdom. What a vibrant environment in which to live and work!
Kalamazoo College is in the final seven months of the most ambitious fund-raising campaign in its long and storied history. We are seeking to raise $125 million to support the priorities that will help ensure that the Kalamazoo College of tomorrow is every bit as strong, every bit as vibrant, and every bit as willing to grapple with the big questions, as we are today. This holiday season is a perfect time to give thanks for the incredible support we have received from alumni and friends.
I am grateful to all of you for what you do on behalf of K. You are making a difference in the lives of our students; helping them to learn and to act on their inclination to make the world a better place.
I hope you enjoy this holiday greeting. Its original music was composed by alumnus Robert Severinac ’85 as part of his Senior Individualized Project. Today, he is a renowned plastic surgeon and entrepreneur who does pro bono work with families of children with cleft palates. And he continues to enjoy and make music! The roots of such breadth and service lie in the power of the liberal arts at K.
President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran