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Wilson College president asks students to be 'global citizens'

Today's college graduates face amany challenges, including economic and civic ones

September 07, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- In a ceremony rich with tradition, Wilson College on Tuesday officially welcomed students to its campus for the school's 142nd year.

The college's convocation ceremony afforded new students, faculty and staff an opportunity to sign the honor principle. The people who have signed their names in dated books promise to "act with integrity in all aspects of life," among other things.

And, for 2010-11, College President Lorna Duphiney-Edmundson is asking the students to be "global citizens."

"Our world desperately needs more citizen leaders, particularly women citizen leaders, who are knowledgeable and courageous," Duphiney-Edmundson said.

Today's college graduates face amany challenges, including economic and civic ones, she said.

"The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow," Duphiney-Edmundson said.

The college is forming a steering committee to focus on a global citizenship initiative and to establish priorities for distributing financial resources connected with the initiative, according to Duphiney-Edmundson.

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Kiah Berman, who is majoring in both Spanish and international peace and conflict studies, told other students that global citizenship involves challenging oneself and others to develop greater perspectives.

"Many people believe being a global citizen (only) means traveling the world and speaking several languages," she said.

Students should start on a path to global citizenship by educating themselves on current events and making small contributions in the community, Berman said.

"Sit with someone new at lunch," she said. "Talk to one of the international students and have them tell you about their country."

Spanish major Stacy Grenke talked about the benefits of learning a second language.

"Over four-fifths of the world population does not speak English," she said.

Before asking attendees to sign the honor principle, Vice President of Academic Affairs Mary Hendrickson and Wilson College Government Association President Stephanie Bachman read a charge to faculty and students.

Faculty were asked to remember that the liberal arts college wants to broaden learning to all parts of life. Students were asked to take all aspects of their education seriously and participate wholly in the life of the college.

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