Lessons in infinite worth
Manchester University President Dave McFadden offered these comments about the 2016 election in his monthly Inside MU email sent Nov. 10 to the MU community:
Our nation is emerging from a bruising election that took its toll on truth, decency and civil discourse.
So much rancor reminds me of why Manchester’s values are more important than ever. At MU, we strive to create space for difficult conversations, mutual respect and the celebration of differences. At our best we shine light where there is darkness.
In September we observed Constitution Day with an Oxford-style debate on the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center. The room was packed. Faculty members Leonard Williams, Heather Schilling, Christer Watson and Justin Lasser formed two teams to debate the proposition: The United States needs to change its Constitution more than it needs a new president.
The topic wasn’t as important as the broader lessons the debate imparted: We can learn a lot by listening to people who don’t share our views. We can debate issues by sticking to the issues. We can disagree without calling each other names. And we can go out for coffee together afterward.
At Manchester, we come from many walks of life. We don’t view the world through the same prism. But for as long as I can remember we have guided our students into a deeper understanding of themselves and each other. Our mission to “respect the infinite worth of every individual” is the cornerstone of that learning and it’s been a distinction of the Manchester experience for generations.
Here’s hoping our graduates always leave here with a deeper appreciation for healthy debate and a thirst for finding common — even higher — ground with others.
About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.