President’s letter: ‘Courage is not the absence of fear’

By Loren Swartzendruber | January 10th, 2014

IMG_9532I recently read Mandela’s Way by Richard Stengel and was impressed again by the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who impacted not only South Africa but the whole world. The first of “15 lessons” from Mandela’s leadership principles outlined by Stengel is, “Courage is not the absence of fear.” Mandela had plenty of reasons to be afraid on many levels, but it did not paralyze him from taking actions he thought were imperative.

Among the many reasons I read widely is to remind myself that the challenges we face in our daily institutional and personal lives must be located in the context of much larger issues that impact millions of the world’s citizens, most of whom face life with far fewer resources than we have available.

We have succeeded in securing funding for Phase I of the Suter Science Center renovations, which are scheduled to begin after the April commencement weekend. I am deeply grateful to the many alumni, students and friends of EMU who have contributed money and made pledges totaling more than $7 million for the project.

I am so grateful for a strong cadre of EMU alumni, donors, and friends who embody our commitment to prepare those who will serve and lead in a global context. With your faithful prayer and financial support we attempt to lead the institution with another of Mandela’s principles, “It’s a long game.” Most of what is accomplished through this vision, with your wonderful support, will bear fruit for many years to come.




Loren Swartzendruber

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