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Provost Morris and VP Sexton give Class of 2015 its academic and community charges

On August 26, 2011, at Fall Convocation, the formal beginning of the academic year, Provost Barbara Morris and Vice President for Student Affairs Glenna Sexton charged the incoming class of students with guidelines and aspirations that will help them make the most of their college experience.


As Provost of Fort Lewis College, I now present your formal academic charge. I do so in the presence of the faculty, who assemble to teach and learn with you, on behalf of your parents, families, and friends, who have guided you to this point in your lives and who will offer their continuing love and support, and in assembly with your fellow Fort Lewis students and the College staff and administration.

I charge you, first of all, to take full advantage of the opportunities and challenges this College now places before you. I remind you that it takes diligence to look beneath the surface of any subject to find the complexity that gives it its true interest.

Second, because during your time at Fort Lewis you will interact with persons and confront ideas quite different from any you may have encountered before, I charge you to welcome the personal and intellectual diversity you will find here, a diversity that can and should extend your previous intellectual and personal boundaries. I encourage you to discover the deeper commonalities among people, and at the same time to appreciate the complexity of each individual’s life, and the richness of different traditions.

Finally, I charge you to discover in yourself an excitement about learning, about encountering new ideas, searching for truths, and discovering deeper meanings. Enter this College with an open mind, with a willingness to submit your beliefs and hunches to the test of critical dialogue with your professors, with your peers, and, most importantly, within yourself. And as you enter the College ready to accept these challenges, commit yourself to graduating in four years with a much expanded, yet even more open mind.

If you are prepared to accept this charge on your entry into the Fort Lewis College, please answer, “I will.” Please remain standing as Vice President for Student Affairs Glenna Sexton presents your charge as citizens of the community.


Fort Lewis College has long been committed to an education that happens in and out of the classroom. We recognize that you are individuals who bring unique spiritual, emotional, social, and physical needs with will be nurtured and honored to enable you to further grow and develop. As new students, you are not just attending an academic institution, but entering and contributing to the life of the Fort Lewis College community.

I charge you to become informed, passionate, and active citizens—not just residents of this great community. I charge you to join with us in creating an education which is life forming and lifelong.

I charge you to expect that you will learn not only in the classroom and laboratory, but also in the residence halls, in the theatre, on the athletic fields, through the various student organizations and other co-curricular experiences.

Further, I charge you to use your skills, talents, and leadership in their service of values which will enrich humanity and contribute to its common good. If you are prepared to accept these responsibilities, please join in saying: “I will.”

With that, Provost Morris and I ask your peers to unfurl your class banner as we applaud the class of 2015!

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