It's that time of the year again.
Goshen College President Rebecca Stoltzfus kicked off the 2018-2019 academic year by introducing this year's theme of global citizenship at the yearly presidential convocation on Wednesday.
The theme of global citizenship was chosen in correlation with the 50-year anniversary of GC's Study-Service Term, which began in 1968.
"What does [global citizenship] mean? And what would it look like to embody it more fully at Goshen College?" Stoltzfus asked at the beginning of her speech.
Stoltzfus stated that global citizenship does not have anything to do with citizenship status in a country or another or passports.
But instead, she said it has to do with immersing oneself into different cultures — whether that be on the Goshen College campus or traveling elsewhere.
Stoltzfus went on to emphasize the importance of the SST program by stating how transformative traveling to a different place can be.[blocktext align="right"]"From this point of disorientation [caused by traveling] we can see our home culture from a new perspective and even view it as a foreign land," she said. "And we have the opportunity to find a new ground of our own being and identity that isn't so dependent on our own culture." [/blocktext]
"From this point of disorientation [caused by traveling] we can see our home culture from a new perspective and even view it as a foreign land," she said. "And we have the opportunity to find a new ground of our own being and identity that isn't so dependent on our own culture."
On the GC campus, Stoltzfus urged students to seek out relationships with others who might have differing home cultures, in hopes of broadening one's perspective, and further developing into a global citizen.
"Let us approach one another with care and respect, seeking beauty and goodness in each other," she said. "See the connections, explore the obligations arising from those connections. Act in the interest of justice. Global citizenship at Goshen College begins right here."
After Stoltzfus’ speech, faculty, staff and students exited the Church-Chapel and headed to Schrock Plaza for the annual applause tunnel – a cherished tradition on campus, and a way to welcome the first-year class to GC.
Additionally, like her father, former GC President Vic Stoltzfus, 34 years before her, Stoltzfus was dunked in the fountain located in Schrock Plaza – a seemingly more cherished tradition than the applause tunnel.
Next Wednesday, the first chapel of the year will take place and feature the Student Ministries theme "#InThisTogether." Campus Pastor Gwen Gustafson-Zook will lead the chapel, along with the rest of the student ministries team.
Listen to a snippet of President Stoltzfus' opening convocation speech!