Above photo: Westminster College President Dr. Benjamin Akande and wife Bola with new Blue Jay parents Crystal and Terry Jenkins ’82.
Address given to parents from Westminster College President Dr. Benjamin Akande on move-in day, August 15, 2015
I want to welcome you, the parents of the students of the Blue Jay Nation. I know this is both an emotional and joyous occasion. Bola and I have experienced this twice with our daughters Moyosola and Anjola.
All of us who send our children to college find it difficult to let go. But we know we must so they can grow in maturity, responsibility, and self-discipline. College is the time when our young people have the freedom to explore–with the safety net of parental guidance or college support just a phone call, office visit, or email away.
You should take comfort in the advice and learning experiences you have shared with your sons and daughters so far. Much of that will stick.
However, now that you have entrusted your student to us, we protect and maintain that trust. I assure you we will.
We make 5 promises to our new Baby Blue Jays:
- At Westminster they will earn a degree that will enable them to change the world.
- We will ensure that they identify the things they need to learn to reach their goals.
- We will push them out of their comfort zones and challenge them to question the status quo. .
- We will help transform them from brilliant students into brilliant leaders.
- We will help them hone their listening skills and learn to build consensus, to motivate and inspire others, and to cultivate an attitude of humility in a world rife with arrogance.
This generation is indeed unique because we raised them to believe that there is nothing they can’t do…that failure is just real time feedback. We fed them courage for breakfast. We brought them up not to be afraid to speak their minds even when they disagree with us.
I believe we raised them well. I am convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that they are the ones that will make our world great again.
At Westminster we believe in a sense of constructive impatience and that failure is a part of success. They are the ones that will live by the words of the old African proverb – “if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”
At Westminster we affirm that no journey is as exhilarating as going out on a limb. We enable it by embracing creativity, disruptive thinking, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. Bola and I welcome you to Westminster.