Inspired by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 15, 2020
Dear Students and Colleagues:
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech inspired a generation to move closer to our Founding Father’s declaration that “all men are created equal.” As we honor Dr. King’s legacy on this upcoming holiday, it is worth reflecting on how the great civil rights leader’s words of wisdom align with our mission at Drexel University.
“Life’s most persistent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” Here at Drexel, I am proud to see that the call to be civically engaged has echoed throughout the University, from the deans, to the faculty and professional staff, to our passionate and deeply engaged students. Whether in our local neighborhoods, in the community around the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services, in the nonprofit placements of our student leaders in the region or around the world, Drexel seeks to do for others in ways large and small.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. … Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Experiential education – learning by doing – lies at the heart of our educational model. Co-op provides students with the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge directly to real-world solutions. So too, our students are asked to bring their knowledge to explore solutions as a regular part of their coursework, whether as freshmen or seniors.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” We take pride in being a dispassionate and wide-ranging research engine, and we welcome investigation and exploration. As an R1 research institution, we are committed to dealing in facts that are grounded in truth, science and reality so our community – and indeed, the world — can make informed decisions.
“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” We have seen over and over again the value of individual effort, the potential that each member of the Drexel community brings to our shared work as a university. We reflect a wide diversity at Drexel — our students come from 46 states and 127 countries, and they study in more than 200 degree programs. Their achievements are often as individuals. But they also work in teams, challenging each other, learning together, being the best they can be.
Dr. King led by example and left a legacy of tolerance, acceptance and civil discourse that helped change the world. He led with a deep humanity and a respect for individual integrity and the power of collaboration. We strive to uphold these principles at Drexel through our unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusivity. I hope you will join me in honoring Dr. King through our continued support of living out his ideals.