Sunday, January 27, 2008

Education as Inspiration

Education As Inspiration

Rev. Father Stephen Sundborg underscored my view of education on a personal level today. In a Seattle Times editorial, he said this:

Never underestimate the power of education. A university education yields the best "return on investment" of any investment a person can make. Graduating with a $20,000 debt pales next to a working-lifetime earning power of $1 million or more compared to that of a high-school graduate. This doesn't account for the inestimable return on investment in the reflective and intellectually engaged quality of one's life. Even more important is the multiplier effect our graduates have in bettering society. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is knowing the significant things our alumni are doing and realizing that the university contributed to the human beings they are. This is the greatest return on an investment.

Having begun a community education class at Cascadia Community College, above, after a couple of years of not attending classes, I am again happily reflective and intellectually engaged! Also his ideas on mission:

Say who you are, then live by it. There is nothing more important for a healthy university than a president's clear articulation of its educational mission. The catchphrase is, "No money, no mission." But equally true for a complex, values-oriented university is, "No mission, no movement." The most important thing I've done in 10 years is articulate and embed in all we do our mission of empowering leaders for a just and humane world.

Again on a mini-local level, I influence my small world, and education helps me stay on track with my own developing mission.

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