Character, Leadership, and Service
If character is about who we are, then citizenship is about what we do. Even as we celebrate the strong character that has defined Deerfield alumni for more than two hundred years, this year we’ll begin to more formally explore the responsibilities of citizenship–the motivation of personal responsibility, duty, and the desire to serve others–which will continue to define leadership in the next century.
As the year unfolds, you’ll hear about a new program on campus: Deerfield’s “Center for Service and Global Citizenship.” This new program is focused on helping us bring the worthy character of our students into the arena of active citizenship. The CSGC takes as its charter a single sentence from Deerfield’s mission: “A vibrant, ethical community that embraces diversity, the Academy prepares students for leadership in a rapidly changing world that requires global understanding, environmental stewardship, and dedication to service.”
Programmatically, the Center for Service and Global Citizenship combines and unifies our efforts in community service, sustainability, and global studies–connecting these three initiatives with their common threads of ethical leadership and consideration for those within–and outside–one’s own community. The CSGC challenges students to understand that with the privileges and benefits they enjoy comes the responsibility for solving the real problems of the world.
The CSGC hopes to integrate the concept of citizenship through global travel, international partnerships, sustainability programs, co- and extra-curricular activities, and numerous opportunities for student leadership. The CSGC brings emphasis on those longstanding traditions that have bound us together–celebrating our shared experiences–and connects them to actions we can take to do “good” in the world. Ultimately, this effort will align student experiences, curriculum, and leadership development across the campus.
This fall, in a new auditorium, we will lift our voices, singing and cheering together as has been done for the last century. Together, we’ll ensure that Deerfield’s timeless lessons remain relevant within the context of the modern world, and that Deerfield’s graduates are ready to meet the world’s urgent need for ethical, compassionate leaders.
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