Paul Gilbert and F.E. Reinartz’s stirring lyrics rang true at Reunion Weekend this past June. It was the first time the tradition had been held in over three years and the enthusiasm was palpable. Eighteen classes—hundreds of Gettysburg alumni in all—returned to campus for a celebration that was joyous, uplifting, and representative of all that makes our College so special.
Given that it was also my first Reunion as president, the weekend served as yet another reminder of the consequential education we provide. In my conversations with generations of Gettysburgians and their families, it was clear how much this place means to them and how the relationships they formed here continue to inspire their life’s work.
Gettysburg College, indeed, is a forever home.
Of course, like any home, our College is constantly evolving. While the values that guide us endure, Gettysburg is a different place than it was when Gilbert and Reinartz penned our Alma Mater one century ago. Gettysburg College changes with the world that is itself constantly evolving. This is all part of our commitment to ready our students to Do Great Work.
Today, we see this change all around us. As our institution’s reputation continues to grow, so too does our national and international footprint. This fall semester, we will proudly welcome the largest cohort of international students in our 190-year history—nearly 100 first-years from more than 25 countries. These are students who have dreamt of pursuing a Gettysburg education and will soon apply what they learned here to transform the world in immeasurable ways. It is encouraging to see.
Together, we at Gettysburg College are committed to ensuring every student from every background can call this campus home. To achieve this, however, we must remember that the brightest futures are those informed by the lessons of the past.
In this edition of the magazine, we reflect on the valorous work of the Black Student Union over the last 50 years. I invite you to read this powerful feature (pg. 26) and, most importantly, to discuss it with your Gettysburg friends and classmates. There is much we can learn, both as individuals and as a community, from the trailblazers of the BSU as we seek to advance our most fundamental mission and foster a more inclusive, lifelong home where every Gettysburgian fully belongs.