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Convocation – A generation of globalists

September 8, 2009

Convocation – A generation of globalists

The incoming and returning students at PLU are part of the first global generation, said President Loren J. Anderson during Convocation on Sept. 8.“Quite simply you are globalists,” Anderson said to more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff and guests at the ceremony officially marking the start of PLU’s 120th year.

The advancements of technology have made it a smaller world and brought down borders that before only few could or would cross, he said.

It is a world the PLU community embraces and encourages, Anderson said. And it has helped shape this institution into the globally focused university it is today.

From the faculty and students who have and will spend time studying away to the on-campus programs that encourage an internationalized campus – the university has grown beyond the confines of suburban Parkland to reach far corners of the world.

Those facts weren’t lost on the NAFSA: Association of International Educators when they selected PLU as a recipient of the 2009 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. Earlier during convocation, Brian Whalen, chairman of the selection committee, presented PLU faculty and staff with the award.

Whalen said, a committee member said it best when they summed up this university – “PLU is one of the best internationalized institutions I have ever seen…PLU should serve as an inspiring model for achieving internationalization.”

PLU is the first and only private institution in the West to receive the honor, he said.

“It’s a big deal,” Anderson told the assembled students.

But in many ways the programs and opportunities behind the award are only truly of value if students engage in what is available.

In this world, a person with a college education is privileged, he said. If 100 people represented all the people in the world, only one would have that level of education.

It is with that in mind, Anderson charged the gathered students with three challenges.

Be the best student you can possibly be, better then you have ever been before.

“Nothing less then excellence honors the talents and gifts you bring,” he said.

As a person of privilege, take hold of your responsibility – use your talents and abilities to engage in the opportunities that are available.

And lastly, but perhaps the most important, it is every student’s responsibility to seek their calling, their vocation, to find what they are passionate about and engage the challenges that face communities, locally and around the world.

“What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Anderson left the students to ponder.