61 William Street
Worcester, MA 01609
“Part of my vision of a global citizen is someone who lives the values of academic excellence, social responsibility and creative expression; someone who values education and is a lifelong learner, someone who thinks in terms of possibilities, not limitations. It may sound trite, but one person can change the world. In a constantly connected world, that happens every day, in small and tremendous ways—the way Wael Ghonim used technology to open the door for new freedoms in Egypt. It is easier than ever before to chat with and work with people across the globe, without leaving home. This contact affects how we interact and allows us to grow in new ways. And I say that this is part of my vision because, just as society is evolving at an ever quickening pace, the values that make a global citizen will also continue to evolve.
As the marketing guru, Seth Godin, points out in his book, Linchpin, much of higher education is still churning out graduates with a factory mentality, and those jobs, where we do what we are told, work at the same place for decades, and retire, are long gone. Education, from kindergarten, and unfortunately, even in college, has historically discouraged genius. Godin makes the bold statement that we all have genius. We just need the courage to act on it, to fail and to try again; all of us, not just an extraordinary few. The top 10 jobs in demand today did not even exist six years ago, and many of today’s students will have worked at 10 to 14 different jobs by age 38. Education is the great equalizer; it is the responsibility of higher education to take people with ordinary backgrounds and help them to become extraordinary in their chosen professions.
Social responsibility is part of the vernacular of today’s graduates, more than at any other time since the civil rights era. It touches every part of our lives today, from religion to recycling. It is the charge of higher education to hone students’ perception of social responsibility. Graduates can no longer just go out and get a job, they must figure out how to create more jobs.
To set out to lead this sort of extraordinary life, we must teach, encourage and nurture creative expression. We need this license to allow our genius to flourish, for creativity is not just about art. In the 21st century, we can all learn to be artists, to pick up the tools around us—technology, science, commerce, education—and become entrepreneurs.”