As Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu wrote in The Way of Lao-tzu, “He who loves the world as his body may be entrusted with the empire.”
At Willamette, we train thinkers, creators and leaders who can be entrusted with our future and our world. As educators, we seek to prepare “the whole student,” to inspire students to cherish and care for the world as they would care for themselves.
We do this by offering a variety of opportunities for intellectual growth and challenge. We foster academic achievement and personal growth through excellent teaching and a challenging, stimulating curriculum, but we also provide services to help students make the most of their learning experience and care for themselves in the process. We host a variety of cocurricular activities such as service projects, internships and clubs to enable students to explore options academic, vocational, recreational and spiritual. And we have built a strong athletics program, where individual studentathletes and teams regularly emerge as conference champions and compete successfully on regional and national levels within NCAA Division III.
Through each of these opportunities, we seek to foster and promote excellence in all aspects of University life.
As a marathon runner and former three-sport athlete—and as someone who has spent much of his adult life on college campuses—I am well aware of the strong connection between success in athletics and success in other aspects of student life.
Sustainability extends beyond environmental to social and economic issues that affect our future. Considered within the context of civic engagement, sustainability is powerful, for it reaffirms a core University value while creating opportunities for practical outcomes that benefit the surrounding community of which we are an essential part.
Athletic achievement requires a certain greatness of mind, body and spirit, a greatness that translates into other aspects of life, such as academic success. This mind-body connection is underscored when you consider that some of Willamette’s top athletes are some of our top academic performers as well.
This edition of The Scene explores the connection between mind and body as it manifests itself at Willamette, with features about counseling and disability services for students, our up-and-coming rowing team, and “centering” as a process by which athletes, artists and others who have made notable achievements in their various endeavors “get in the zone.” Our holistic approach to learning is a powerful part of our campus culture and plays a key role in the educational experience at Willamette University.
M. Lee Pelton