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Self and best self

by Melinda Lantz | Jun 28, 2017

Posted June 28 - At Manchester, you can be yourself and you will be challenged to become your best self. I say this so often that it risks becoming a cliché.

Recently, in Louisville, I shared this “Self and Best Self” summary of Manchester’s mission: we respect the infinite worth of every person – you can be yourself at Manchester – and we seek to graduate persons of ability and conviction – you will be challenged to become your best self during your time here.

The setting was a workshop on institutional messaging that I presented with Adam Hohman, assistant vice president for enrollment and marketing, at a conference. Sponsored by an academic program development group called Learning House, the conference focused on how institutions can adapt and thrive in the face of significant changes in higher education.

Our session felt decidedly old school. We talked about message mapping and finding authentic and relevant language to tell an effective institutional story. It didn’t focus on technology or new learning strategies or alternative credentialing. Rather, we focused on the “why” of an institution rather than the “how,” on the mission rather than the delivery of instruction.

I was reminded, in explaining it, that our mission – the opportunity to be yourself and the challenge to become your best self – is what distinguishes us from many institutions around us. It’s also what makes me proud to serve Manchester with all of those who work here to help our students succeed and go out to change the world.