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2012 Induction Ceremony

Remarks by Kathleen Jagger [Listen]

Good Morning! I’m Kathleen Jagger, interim vice president and dean of the college, and I’m excited to inaugurate a new school year with all of you.

“In this endeavor, our aim is simple: to provide you with the very best college experience possible, and one unlike any other college or university.”

Your class includes published authors, researchers, small business owners, state champion athletes, and professional musicians and artists. At least one of you is currently fighting cancer and two are cancer survivors. You are the second largest class and most diverse class in Transylvania history, including 12 international students, and students from 23 states and six countries. Academically you are one of the strongest in Transylvania history with an ACT average of 27 and an average high school GPA of 3.68. Clearly, you can consider yourself in good company.

First, let me welcome parents, friends, guardians, and families. We thank you for bringing to us our future and entrusting to us the education and development of the class of 2016.

Welcome class of 2016. We hope you have as much pride in Transylvania as we have in you. As you enter this historic institution, take time to feel the extraordinary presence of the past and the expanding potential of your futures. This extraordinary potential is a legacy you inherit on this day.

That kind of legacy will persist only if we continue to educate and inspire true intellectual pioneers who are willing to stretch their minds and imaginations, for as Einstein said, “a mind that has been stretched will never return to its original dimension.”

Your class and this year are historic ones for Transylvania. We have completely re-imagined the First Year Experience. Every part of it has been re-vamped and improved for your entering class. Therefore you are about to embark upon a first year journey unlike that of any Transylvania student who has preceded you.

You begin next week with August term, an innovation to be sure, but one that your faculty have been developing in earnest since last September. We are all tremendously excited about the possibilities for this new term and we encourage you to embrace them fully.

In fall and winter terms will come your first-year seminars, a totally new first-year advising program, and creative engagements, an opportunity to explore great ideas and different aspects of being in or experiencing the world that extend well beyond the boundaries of your classrooms, labs, and studios.

While envisioning this wholly new first year, your faculty have tried to model what we hope you will be doing throughout your college career—questioning whether there is a better way or a stronger ideal, examining the literature for evidence, searching for a more inspiring model, and debating different points of view.

In this endeavor, our aim is simple: to provide you with the very best college experience possible, and one unlike any other college or university. We are quite certain this year will be an adventure for all of us and we hope it will enable you to do as Thoreau suggests: “Go forth confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” We expect that you enter this college today with a genuine spirit of adventure, ready to engage enthusiastically the opportunities before you.

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