Dean Annarelli's Remarks
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James J. Annarelli
Dean of Students
August 8, 2008
It is my pleasure and my honor to receive you as the newest members of the Eckerd College family. As members of this community, you are heirs to a rich academic heritage that has its roots in the vision of our founders. From its inception, this college was envisioned as an institution of higher learning unlike any other. Its uniqueness was a product of the founders' desire to combine an unwavering commitment to the traditional liberal arts and sciences with an openness to educational experimentation. Enduring aspects of the founders' vision will shape your education here -
- An emphasis on the central role of the mentor-student relationship,
- The importance attributed to the study of the ethical and spiritual dimensions of human existence,
- An openness to interdisciplinary scholarship, and
- A conviction that significant learning takes place both within the classroom and beyond it through co-curricular activities, study abroad, and field-based experiences.
Ours is a college that, despite its relative youth, has gained an international reputation for academic excellence, ground-breaking educational innovation, and a unique approach to campus and residential life. In joining us, you are joining a special kind of living and learning community, one in which you will be called to participate in creating a campus environment that is truly conducive to your development.
This Ceremony of Lights, which has become an important tradition of the college, expresses through symbolic language and actions the transition that is taking place in your lives at this very moment. Because of your prior achievements, you have reached a personal and educational milestone: You have earned a place in this community of scholars.
I congratulate you and I welcome you as you join us in becoming a part of the Eckerd tradition.