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Last Word
A Value-Based Education – Alive And Well At Wittenberg

One of the historic strengths of Wittenberg has long been and continues to be our core values. It is one of the primary reasons that Lin and I chose to make this university our home, and it is one of the reasons that first-year students and their families choose Wittenberg every year. In fact, two months into my presidency, Lin turned to me one evening at the dinner table and said, “I would love to have one of our children attend Wittenberg.” I asked, “Why?” Of course, I agreed with her, but I wanted to learn more about her thinking. Her immediate response was, “I love the values I see in these students and this university.”

The past year and a half has been a time of deep reflection and recommitment around these values as they capture the essence of Wittenberg, fuel our mission, and provide the framework for our strategic plan. For those of you who have not seen the plan, the values are: Integrity, Compassion, Service, Creativity, Calling, Global Citizenship, Lutheran Heritage, Community of Learners, Wholeness of Person, Intellectual Inquiry, and Liberal Arts. If you have not read the plan, I would refer you to our homepage where you will find a full description of each of these values (a simple listing of the values does not do them justice). I suspect that our values ring as true to you as they do to me and to students at Wittenberg today.

In addition to defining our values and completing our plan, we have engaged in an 18-month review of our relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – outlining our history and mapping our future. It has been a wonderful process that has allowed us to reaffirm our Lutheran roots. It also ties perfectly with our recommitment and reflection on values because the values of this university are, to a great extent, a reflection of our Lutheran heritage. As one of the 28 ELCA universities, we give special attention to values such as calling, service, intellectual inquiry and compassion. As a university based in the Lutheran tradition, we also encourage students to answer important questions such as “Who am I? How do I fit into the larger universe? Who is my God?” We do so, however, in a way that does not prescribe “an answer,” but rather encourages a journey of self-exploration and faith. My sense is that college students are hungry to answer these questions and take this journey, and Wittenberg is a great place to do so.

Our values shape what we do dayto- day, and they shape how we plan our future. As you read this magazine, you will see these values come alive in every article – in our stories about our scholarship recipients, in the lives of our alumni award winners, and in the articles about our faculty and staff. You will see the values we have identified as central to a Wittenberg education imbedded in the lives of our students, our staff and faculty, and our alumni. When you read our strategic plan, Distinctively Wittenberg: A Vision for Excellence, you will see that our goals and objectives flow directly from our core values.

I am proud to lead a university where values are center stage, where students are challenged to grow both in and outside the formal classroom, and where our alumni live our motto, “Having Light We Pass It On To Others.” Yes, value-based education is alive and well at Wittenberg.

— Mark Erickson, president


Wittenberg Magazine P.O. Box 720 Springfield, Ohio 45501-0720
Phone: (937) 327-6141 Fax: (937) 327-6112

In This Issue
Around Myers Hollow
Witt World
Tiger Sports
Alumni World
Class Notes
Class Notes