Bradley W. Bateman, President of Randolph College
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Here at Randolph, we talk often about the importance of living a life more abundant. In fact, the strong liberal arts education we have provided to our students for more than 120 years is one of the best ways we prepare students to be successful later in life.
The broad education and critical thinking skills we give to our students are highly valuable. However, we also believe there is more to a complete education than classroom learning. Part of being your best self is learning to think beyond your own needs. Our students are learning how vital it is to share their talents, time, and other resources with others. As part of this new emphasis, we have established a task force to develop more ways for our students to volunteer and serve.
In this issue of Randolph magazine, you will read many stories about how our students, faculty, and staff are giving back. Whether it is Kat Riedel ’14, who balances her academic studies with a volunteer EMT job; Gary Dop, a new English professor who organized a student-run poetry booth at the Lynchburg Community Market; the hundreds who help offer the free Science Festival; or the many students, faculty, and staff who volunteer their time at local non-profits like the Daily Bread, we are expanding Randolph’s involvement in the Lynchburg community.
Our students find out quickly that they get just as much out of giving back as the people they are helping. Along with the chance to step away from the daily stress of academic life, our students gain that sense of fulfillment that only comes when we do for others. As one of our sociology professors, Danielle Currier, said in a story in this magazine, “We want to encourage students to actually change the world as they see fit.”
Like Winston Churchill, we believe there is more to life than money, fame, and prestige. Our graduates will find more happiness and fulfillment in life when they take time to give back to their communities and to the organizations that are important to them. As the thousands of alumnae and alumni of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and Randolph College have discovered, living the life more abundant means thinking beyond ourselves as individuals and realizing the important role we play in making the world a better place.