Volume I  Issue # 4   
Monday, October 12, 1998

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The President's Post

    Diversity is a good thing, and that means we have a lot of good things on our campus. We are a campus composed of many different colors, creeds, cultures, nationalities, and religious beliefs. A significant part of the educational process on a small, liberal arts campus takes place outside of the traditional classroom, and that education involves what we learn from one another as members of a campus community.
About 18% of our student population is represented by people of color. That is a remarkable statistic for a campus of this size, but it is not surprising. Remember that we were the first historically white university in Arkansas to accept an African-American student. We were also the first university in the United States to provide support for students with special learning needs. Our Learning Center continues to be a model nationwide for other campuses.
We have students who represent 12 countries of the world. The majority of these students are from Central America and are Walton Scholars. This program continues to be a blessing for this campus, and the Walton Scholar graduates are a blessing for their countries when they return home. The same can be said for our other international students.
When Sheree and I invite students to our home for dinners and other functions, we are amazed at the diversity gathered under one roof. We are grateful for the opportunity to hear our students' stories, and we are humbled by the sacrifices many students have made in order to study here. All of us on this campus need to respect those sacrifices.
With campus diversity comes responsibility and obligation. We are responsible for our actions toward one another, and we are obligated to treat one another with respect. That is the spiritual nature of our campus. And, in truth, that may be the best lesson this campus can offer.

Rick Niece, Ph.D.

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