Tuesday August 22, 2017

Community Builders

By Eric F. Spina

In a message to the University of Dayton community on the first day of the fall semester, I offer a welcome and a challenge: We are called to be community builders.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I warmly welcome you to the start of the 2017-18 academic year!  An especially heartfelt welcome to all who are new  — from the largest and most diverse first-year class in University of Dayton history to the faculty and staff who have joined our special community.

We are energized by your presence and stronger — much stronger — because of the diverse gifts and talents you bring to our campus.  

Together as a community, we embark on the meaningful journey of this new year, full of the joy and sense of shared purpose that brings us to this special University. Indeed, when I looked out over a sea of optimistic faces during my welcome to new students and their families last weekend, I was reminded once again of the many compelling reasons we are at the University of Dayton.

While we live in complex times in a fragmented and often fearful society, we will have the opportunity over this academic year to appeal to our hopeful nature and explore what it means to be a university for the common good.  What we can do individually and as a community to make a difference during a time when the bonds of our common humanity are frayed.

Thanks to the Marianist charism, woven throughout the fabric of our 167-year history, we are indeed called to be community builders. We are called to advance justice, foster civil discourse, and respectfully listen to a diversity of viewpoints as we model what it means to work across differences.

This is a responsibility we take to heart. We do not accept hate on campus. We reject racism, bigotry, and violence. We strive to be a community of faith, hope, and love.

We are a great University working to become even greater, and each one of us has a role to play in this quest. I wish everyone a joyful and successful year, one in which we work together to learn, discover, and serve others.

May God’s grace fill our lives.

Warm regards,

Eric F. Spina

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