Out with the old, in with the new--it's the cycle of life. As the 113th class of Goshen College seniors prepare to graduate on May 1 and join the Goshen College alums that make up 1 percent of all the college graduates in the world, they are making room for the students in the classes below them to fill their leadership roles.
President Jim Brenneman sees this shift as an "inspiring transaction" as each year the graduating seniors, grounded in the core values, go out into the world and figure out how the core values work in the lives they choose.
Student leadership is reflected across campus: in students' poetry featured in Broadside; in athletes (Maple Leafs come out at the top of the nation with their number of scholar athletes); in ecological stewardship, with students like juniors Hannah Eberly and David Zwier talking about composting at a national convention; spiritually, as students participate in mission and service inquiry programs and organize a 24/7 prayer vigil; musically, as groups like the Women's World Choir and Parables share their gifts with the public on tour. These things are only part of what President Brenneman called the "manna of GC."
Aside from new people filling in leadership roles, there will be other changes on campus. The first change will be the implementation of a swipe card security system for the Kratz/Miller/Yoder dormitories. Beginning in May 2012, students will see the initial stages of the railroad underpass as it gets prepared for the July 4 digging. Brenneman also looked to next year and the years following for the Domestic Study-Service Term to become more popular.
As the age of undergraduate students across the nation is increasing so that there are more undergrads who are 25 years old and older than who are "traditional aged" (18-22), President Brenneman said the college is looking to expand its adult learning program over the next several years.
This will most directly benefit traditional students financially, he said. As the college brings in more money through its expanded adult program, the college will be able to provide more financial aid for traditional students (as federal funding is increasingly geared toward students 25 and up).
Other changes happening over the next several years include exploring the possibility of going book-less (as more high schools are using e-books), changes in the Union (particularly the commuter lounger), changing on campus aesthetics to reflect Goshen being an intercultural college and seeing signs of the prairie grasses that we planted this year, said Brenneman.
As the graduating seniors of 2011 prepare to leave all this and more behind, Brenneman encouraged them to "Go forth with courage and conviction, and take risks! Hopefully, looking back, you'll see that Goshen College prepared you for life."