Wednesday, September 22, 2010

With great sadness...

This morning a great man passed away. His name was John Strassburger, but to the many students that attended Ursinus College he was best known as President Strassburger. He was the kind of president that really cared about learning your name and knowing what’s new. I shared many moments with my dear president and friend, from BBQs for students of color in the summer, babysitting his beautiful grandson, sharing the house of God during chapel services on Sundays, and enjoying my 21st birthday at his home with a delicious chocolate cake. President’s Strassburger’s favorite quote was “Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental.” --W. E. B. Du Bois This quote suited him as he created at Ursinus a learning environment that fostered leaders who could continue to fight for this right. During his presidency he supported the DSP (a document that enhances the enforcement of university codes of conduct), he built and renovated many academic buildings, contributed to the Common Intellectual Experience (a freshmen seminar that has been nationally recognized), and was committed to a culturally diverse campus among many other notable accomplishments. On a personal note, I remember how much he enjoyed playing with his grandson and with his “college nephews.” He would always tell them, “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” He wasn't much of the hugger, but by the end of my 4th year at Ursinus, he warmed up. May you rest in peace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"It is a miracle, when one person, standing in his place, is able, while remaining there, to put himself in another person’s place, to send his imagination forth to establish a beachhead in another person’s spirit, and from that vantage point so to blend with the other’s landscape that what he sees and feels is authentic . . . this is the great adventure in human relations…To experience this is to be rocked to one’s foundations.”

~Howard Thurman