Bradley W. Bateman, President of Randolph College
As we began the planning for my Inauguration many months ago, I knew without question it was the perfect opportunity for Randolph College to showcase the importance—and the relevance—of the liberal arts. In recent years, the liberal arts have taken an undeserved public beating as politicians and the media have questioned the value of this type of education.
As any of the thousands of alumnae and alumni who have headed out into the world from our Red Brick Wall can attest, the value that comes from an education such as the one provided by colleges like Randolph goes beyond salary and benefits statistics. Our motto, Vita abundantior, speaks to our mission well; we equip our students with the skills they need to pursue a life worth living—a more abundant life.
A Randolph education prepares students to engage the world critically and creatively, live and work honorably, and experience life abundantly. Beyond a strong educational foundation, the experiences our students gain, the relationships they build, and the passions they ignite here on our campus give them the tools they need to be successful in life. Instead of being prepared for a job, they are prepared for a lifetime of work—and not just in a place of employment. They leave this wonderful place ready to make a difference in the world.
When choosing a theme for my Inauguration, I could not think of a better one than “Why the Liberal Arts?” During the weekend of activities and events, we joined with our own community as well as colleagues from a multitude of institutions to share our passion for the liberal arts. Nationally known speakers at the Inauguration symposium tackled four related topics: “Why teach?” “Why Advise?” “Why Create?” and “Why Serve?”
The resulting conversations—on symposium panels, in the hallways, and at the receptions—were rejuvenating. The liberal arts are alive and well at Randolph and at so many other great institutions across the United States. We serve an important purpose to the world, and we are finally adding our voices to the conversations happening nationally.
As you read through this special issue of Randolph, I hope you too feel the passion that was shared for the power of the liberal arts during my Inauguration. I hope you are also inspired by the stories showcasing the work of our faculty and students on campus. I would also like to give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the donors who made the Inauguration possible: Bradley N. Currey and Sally McClellan Currey ’51, Carolyn Burgess Featheringill ’69, C. Michael Kojaian and Elizabeth Earle Kojaian ’84, and the Betty Jo Denton Heick ’45 Annual Symposium Endowed Fund.
Bradley W. Bateman