Jul 5, 2018
by Joseph G. Joyner, President
The theme for my inauguration, “Citizenship in a Diverse Democracy,” could not have been more appropriate for the age we are living in, and the importance of higher education.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities calls for our classrooms to be models of “democracy in action” because the skills our students need are so similar to those attributes that are essential for becoming better and more engaged citizens – skills like communication, teamwork, inquiry and analysis, critical thinking and intercultural competence.
The organization calls for modeling these skills “through discussion and debate, presenting evidence on differing sides of historical and contemporary issues and encouraging students to draw their own conclusions while engaging deeply with multiple viewpoints.”
This was at the heart of our inaugural week: Students, faculty, staff and alumni volunteering more than 900 hours on a community service day; alumni and students deliberating on themes of Citizenship in a Diverse Democracy; a United States Naturalization Ceremony hosted on our campus where 31 people from foreign countries became citizens of the U.S.; and many more examples of these ideals.
How we demonstrate ethical leadership and citizenship with integrity in a respectful and inclusive community are all essential questions for our time, and key value propositions for any college or university. It is these traits that drew me to Flagler College, and part of why I am so excited to be here.
Throughout this magazine, you will read stories that illustrate this in our college community. All of it speaks to why I am so optimistic about the future of our college, and the incredible impact we can have on the world around us.