Inaugural Address Page Four: Intentionally Diverse
This is a lesson taught to us by our own history. Over a century ago the challenge of preparing and sending workers to the uttermost ends of the earth prompted people from diverse church backgrounds to rally together for the cause. From this alliance came Nyack College and the result has been over a century of global impact.
Today, the challenges are even greater. How will Nyack fulfill its mission and prepare its graduates to affect their world for the kingdom of God? We will do so by taking a lesson from our own history. We will do so by being a place where people, who would not otherwise come together, rally for the cause. We will do so by being intentionally diverse. A century ago, Nyack brought together people from diverse church affiliations and backgrounds. Today the diversity Nyack brings together is ethnic and socio-economic.
Over the past decade, the call for diversity in American higher education steadily becomes stronger. Since 1997, nearly every major council or commission on higher education has issued a statement calling for colleges and universities to take specific action to become more diverse.
This afternoon, Nyack is what these groups are calling American colleges and universities to become.
Nyack is the most ethnically diverse Christian College in the history of American higher education. We celebrate this as an important part of both our effectiveness and our identity. We remain committed to the task of enhancing this diversity in every decision we make from curriculum, to hiring, to pricing.
Why? Why is being intentionally diverse so important to us at Nyack? We are gratified to know that we are a leader in diversity in higher education. We take this role seriously, but this is not the primary reason diversity is so important to us.
Being intentionally diverse is important to us because some challenges in our world can only be met when people, who would not otherwise come together, rally for the cause.
Our challenge… our cause is for our graduates to build the kingdom of God in every neighborhood, every profession, every socio-economic strata… “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9). We cannot allow our differences to divide us. We are to be a microcosm of the world and the Kingdom of Heaven. No person is more important than another. Every person is owed ultimate dignity and respect.
If Nyack is to be truly academically excellent and globally engaged -- now more than ever -- we must be intentionally diverse.