As many of you know, President Grant Cornwell was inducted as Rollins College's 15th president on April 9, 2016. But many months before, President Cornwell was already making a large impact on campus and on students.
On the first day of school this past year, President Cornwell sent an email to the student body welcoming students to campus and expressing his enthusiasm for this school year. This email made the first day of school an exciting adventure for many students as we knew our college president would listen to our voice, as well as live out our college mission statement of creating responsible leaders and global citizens.
President Cornwell has also made many efforts to connect with students, hear their opinions and address their concerns. This semester, I was able to go to the President Cornwell's house and have dinner with him, his wife and a few other students involved in student media. It was a great experience as he had us introduce ourselves and he was genuinely interested in what we were creating for student media, as well as what we wanted to talk about. He started the conversation asking, "What do you all want to talk about? We can talk about anything."
When I first was accepted to Rollins College, I could not have imagined having dinner at the president's house, let alone discussing concerns of the students. I have had more contact with my college president over the past year than I thought I would have in my entire college career.
Today, I am writing this article to acknowledge that our president genuinely cares about his students and his school. From inviting students to his house for dinner and speaking at presentations on social justice to riding his scooter around campus while waving to students, President Cornwell is the president Rollins has needed.
In response to the shooting in Orlando, he sent out an email saying that Knowles Memorial Chapel will be illuminated in rainbow colors to honor the victims, survivors and families of those affected by the shooting on Sunday. As the shooting has overwhelmed the Rollins community, these words of encouragement and love signify everything students need from their president.
Illuminating the chapel represents our small liberal arts school not only as a place for solidarity and love, but also as a place where students can let their light shine and know that each and every one of our voices is valued. Love is love is love, and Fiat Lux!
Thank you, President Grant Cornwell, for supporting students and our school.