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Welcome to an amazing learning community

by Melinda Lantz | Jul 31, 2017

Posted July 31 - As we start the 2017-18 academic year, I share with you a letter to new faculty that will be included in their orientation packets. In choosing Manchester, they join a long line of extraordinary teachers and mentors.

Welcome to Manchester! You are joining an amazing learning community.

When you are asked by friends and family what distinguishes Manchester from other institutions, I encourage you start with our mission. We begin by affirming the infinite worth of every person, commit ourselves to nurturing both ability and conviction and know we have done our best when our graduates live lives that improve the human condition.

When I talk with students, I say Manchester is a place where you can be yourself and will be challenged to become your best self. “Self and best self” – you will hear that often. The same applies to all of us at Manchester. We become our best selves by interacting and engaging with people who are different than we are. Our students and employees have different values, different life stories, different beliefs and different experiences. Each one of us is of infinite worth and someone to learn from and with.

We chose you from among many others because you personify our mission. I know this because we don’t settle or compromise when inviting new colleagues into our community. We value deeply who you are and what you bring: your abilities and convictions; stories and experiences; beliefs and commitments; learning, knowledge and wisdom. You will help us live out our mission and keep our promises to our students, alumni, donors, employers and each other.

Over the coming months, you will come to understand why we say, “The world needs more Manchester graduates.” Our students and graduates are special people. They leave Manchester equipped to contribute in the workplace, excel in graduate school, shape their communities and change the world.

On my office wall, I have a paraphrased quote from New England theologian Frederich Buechner: “Vocation is that place to which you are called where your deep joy meets the world’s great need.” I am a third-generation graduate of Manchester. I met my wife, Renée, here, our two grown children are fourth-generation graduates, and I have worked at Manchester since 1993. 

I am deeply rooted here and Manchester has been a place of vocation for me for many years. I hope you find us to be that place for you.