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President's Newsletter - August 2012

President's Letter: 

Dear JCSU Family and Friends,

In July, we welcomed incoming freshmen and their families to Golden Bull Academy, a two-day pre-orientation experience where we shared information
and expectations about the life-changing transition from high school to college.
I promised our incoming students their college experience here will be one of personal growth and transformation. Over the next four years, they will become better equipped to communicate effectively, think critically, learn independently as well as collaboratively, and become competent in their chosen professions.

We want students to be innovative and confident as they go through this process and learn how to put their critical, creative and practical skills together to solve problems on their own. When they leave, we want them to know how to do this in their professions, their neighborhoods across the nation and around the world.

The purpose of higher education is to help students understand the fundamental facts of living and change. It’s what I call the growing edge. It means learning through adventure, innovation, problem solving, community building and moral strength. Taking risks. Embracing diversity. “Don’t apologize for who you are,” I tell our students, “we are going to support you so that your growing edge is authentic.”

Personal growth occurs when one is exposed to new experiences. Our students will expand their horizons as they literally meet the world, with more than 28 countries represented among our faculty, staff and other students. We expect our entire University family to embrace the fact that the world is their home, and that we are capable of creating positive change in ourselves, on our campus and beyond these gates.

As an urban university that literally stands at the growing edge of Charlotte’s core, we have a responsibility to our neighbors in the West End to rebuild the social capital that has long been depleted. Creative partnerships such as Mosaic Village and the “Passing Through Light” public art project are just a start in this transformation.

There’s no better way to illustrate the power of transformation than in the exhibit “Courage,” which has taken residence in Duke Library. We are grateful to the Levine Museum of the New South for this opportunity to bring “Courage” to campus as the most dramatic example of what we are trying to teach our students. That they, too, can seize opportunities to become change agents in the world. The transformation starts with us.

Ronald L. Carter, Ph.D. 

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