As we begin the new year with today’s celebration, we have the opportunity to reflect on dreams fulfilled and aspirations not yet fully achieved.
As we await the Inauguration of our first African-American President, we witness the fulfillment of one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dreams: that people will be judged by the quality of their minds and the content of their character…and not by the color of their skin. In this political change, achieved by the majority of American voters, we anticipate economic and social changes which Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned for all of God’s children.
As we celebrate this year the 80th anniversary of the founding of Carlow University by the Sisters of Mercy, we honor their dream which they entrusted to us to shape our mission and share our values. We carry on their ministry of opportunity through education and service.
We rejoice in the fact that Carlow University is a diverse community… committed to life long learning, to clear thinking to challenge cultural assumptions and false values, to an ethic of service for a just and merciful world in our reverent response to God and to others.
Martin Luther King Jr., along with the founding Sisters of Mercy, smile with pride on our gathering today as they see their dreams fulfilled in the community which has gathered here, in the work we do, in the people we serve, in the values we espouse, and in the respect we have for all of God’s children. They delivered on promises made, and they see us making honest efforts to deliver on our promises.
Martin Luther King Jr. and our founding Sisters of Mercy and their successors applaud us in our acknowledgement of the sacredness of creation, in our quest for truth through discovery and intellectual integrity, in our leadership for educational and social equity, in our hospitality which welcomes and respects those whom we are privileged to serve, and in our commitment to the success of all our students.
However, they urge us to recognize that their aspirations for us and for our mission are not yet fully achieved while the society in which we live falls short of fulfilling the dream. Our Carlow community must continue to be engaged in learning and teaching…by word and example…the lessons they lived: that all people are equal before God, and thus worthy of respect and opportunity. We must continue to foster in our community of faculty, staff, students and alumnae the ability and the will to challenge false values and discriminatory practices. We must continuously commit to shaping a Carlow community which welcomes, affirms and empowers others…so that all whom we serve can achieve their individual dreams and contribute to a society grounded in justice and social responsibility.
-- Dr. Mary Hines, President, Carlow University