“Reinhardt University operates because of you. If you were not here doing the things that you do - teaching your courses, operating your offices, working with students, collaborating with one another, looking after chestnut trees - we would not be who we are,” said Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D., president of Reinhardt University, at the annual State of the University Address on Monday. “Our identity is you, and you can see here all of these incredible faces that make up the University.”
Addressing faculty and staff from the stage in Flint Hall at the Falany Performing Arts Center, Roberts shared a snapshot of Reinhardt’s eventful past year, along with plans to move the University forward. He also offered words of encouragement and inspiration as faculty and staff prepare for the start of the fall semester.
Roberts encouraged faculty and staff about the future of a college education, even as the value of a college degree is increasingly scrutinized and questioned. “There is a value of being educated that is beyond the hard economics. It is about expanding your mind. It is about trying on new ideas. It is about understanding people you never connect with or live with. It is about understanding how the world operates. It is understanding the complexity of organizations and complexity of politics. It is all of those things. It also helps students grow up. It helps them mature. It gives them opportunities to make mistakes in a safe place which is so critical to their development.”
Roberts recounted the past years’ innumerable celebrations, like graduating more than 300 students in Spring 2022, adding new business programs, receiving donations and grants, improving buildings and campus grounds, and returning summer camps and activities. As lingering impacts from the pandemic, demographic shifts, and market directions will continue to challenge Reinhardt, Roberts shared, “There are no obstacles that we cannot go through. Hurdles are to be jumped!”
Roberts detailed the strategic planning process to end his presentation – a plan that will propel Reinhardt forward amidst the world’s challenges. The annual State of the University Address is part of Reinhardt’s Welcome Back Week for faculty and staff – a time leading up to the first day of fall semester.