All of those in the wider Claremont School of Theology community are aware that this school (and others like it) thrives because of the service and support given by those who love it. Indeed, as arguably the most philanthropic citizenry of any country in the world, Americans have built and sustained a vast infrastructure of educational institutions that have played a role in providing education not only to this nation but also to individuals throughout the world. For this reason, all of us who work in the context of higher education have long been aware of the power and value represented by this kind of service and support.
This is one reason that I rejoice at the effort of President Obama to heighten our awareness of the importance of service in all aspects of life and culture. We are still by comparison one of the wealthiest and most blessed peoples of the world, and we have only begun to scratch the surface of what we can accomplish in making our world a better place. To reach our potential requires only that each of us individually be involved and that we learn to work together. In short, it requires that we become a nation of willing servants to our fellow human beings.
As we go forward, therefore, I urge all of us in the wider Claremont community to help lead this new zeal for service. Service is an old but never a tired idea, and nothing invigorates the self more than serving others. I also invite you to share with me and your colleagues some of the ways you are engaging in service.