Willihnganz explains true value of education to new students
“So how’s the air?” Provost Shirley Willihnganz asked the freshmen and a few parents that had packed Comstock Concert Hall Friday afternoon.
The annual Welcome Week convocation at the University of Louisville provides a chance for administration to officially welcome incoming students, for students to collect their CAPS — baseball caps that they will trade for mortar boards in four years, if all goes well — and for students to think about education and what to expect of their college years.
Willihnganz said she realized that no one probably was aware of the air before she asked her question – and that was the point. Now they were — and awareness, she said, is the real value of an education.
A college education is not about grades, majors and degrees. It’s not even about learning how to think, she told them.
It is about becoming aware of what you think, how you think, how other people think differently and how you might think differently. Awareness opens up all kinds of possibilities.
We all have the freedom of possibility, she said.
“One of the things I hope will happen for you is that you will discover the freedom of being educated and the possibilities of being who you want to be in the world and meeting and relating to other people the way that you want to so you can do the work that will make your dreams come true.”
President James Ramsey also challenged the students during his remarks:
“We know you are the best academically prepared freshman class in the history of the university. To whom much is given, much is expected – Be ready Monday. Have your game face on,” he said.