Colleagues and Students:
This week you have been introduced to Carlow University…to our mission and core values, to our academic expectations, to your role in your learning, and to all the support and opportunities available to you as a Carlow student. This has been a busy first week of your first-year experience. You have begun to explore life at Carlow and to experience the Carlow culture and the uniqueness of a Carlow education. You have begun to form friendships and to find your way at Carlow and in Oakland and Pittsburgh. You have been welcomed as the newest members of Carlow’s caring community.
Last evening, you had the opportunity to discuss an important aspect of the Carlow culture: reflecting on and preparing for service as a part of your Carlow experience. In addition to defining our academic vision and philosophy of teaching and learning, our mission challenges us to provide competent and compassionate service to others. Today you will have that opportunity.
Even before you came to Carlow you recognized that life is not only about and for you… but also about and for others. You have already provided service to others as part of your membership in various organizations or because of your own values and causes. You have learned that selfishness and self-centeredness are unsatisfactory since they do not result in making a difference in the lives of those with whom we share our world.
You have found that the best moments in your lives have been with and for others. Scholars in many disciplines (philosophers, theologians, sociologists, psychologists) tell us that there is something bigger and better then an isolated life…that we are not created to be alone…that we are social beings, responsible for ourselves and others.
As a Mercy-sponsored institution committed to social justice and service of others, Carlow raises service to the level of an expectation for living a full life. Opportunities for providing service to others abound at Carlow, and all members of the Carlow community participate in varied service projects. Some courses have service learning components, and Carlow organizations have service requirements. It is no coincidence that first-year students are united in Service Learning Day with faculty and staff who have accepted their responsibility for living the Carlow mission of service. Throughout your time at Carlow, you will understand how deeply these faculty and staff are committed to serving others…and now you are among those ‘others’ whom they serve. Your education is their mission, but their mission also includes showing you through their example and mentoring the value of service. As you leave St. Agnes this morning, in the company of other students, and of faculty and staff, you begin another part of your first-year experience: that of being a member of a community which cares about others, and which provides competent and compassionate service to make a difference in their lives.
-- Dr. Mary Hines, President