Some studies point toward how many students lose the religion they were raised in during college. Others say that, thanks to campus ministry programs and other efforts, students emerge with stronger faith. Regardless of which of these is the case more often, one thing is sure: college is perhaps the most formative time in a young person’s life.
With that in mind, it’s important to choose a school dedicated to forming students to be moral, contributing citizens after graduation. Values matter. So if you are a college-bound high school student (or a parent of one), consider the values of the schools you apply to. Ask current students, admissions officers, alumni — anyone who can give you an idea of the school’s culture — what they think the college’s values are. What will you take with you after graduation, besides that diploma?
Silver Lake College is founded on the Franciscan values of community, compassion, peacemaking, and reverence for creation. These may at first seem irrelevant. Reverence for creation in higher education? But these are not only relevant, they’re essential for a higher education community. Here are the takeaways that Silver Lake students walk away with after graduation:
Community. We live and work among others. Our relationships with them should exhibit hospitality, courtesy, and cooperation.
Compassion. In our relationships with another — whether it be a friend, classmate, or coworker — we should always strive to put the needs of the other ahead of our own by actively listening, perceiving their needs, and serving them humbly.
Peacemaking. St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi brought peace by being in right relationship with God, others, and the entire created world, which we strive to emulate. Peace begins with an attitude that renounces all forms of dominance over another: violence, exploitation, and plundering of creation.
Reverence for creation. St. Francis recognized that all creation was a reflection of the truth, goodness, and beauty of its Maker. In the beauty of the world, he encountered Beauty Itself. We strive to understand the unity, solidarity, and interdependence of all creation, and therefore honor the created world.
Formed with these values, graduates of Silver Lake are ready to make a difference in their worlds. What are other values you think are important in higher education?
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