President's Letter: How do we prepare students to Do Great Work in the world?

This question is at the heart of all that we do at Gettysburg College. As a community, we want to solve big problems. We want to graduate engaged citizens and effective leaders who are committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of others. This work begins by helping our students acquire the necessary skills, as well as the equally necessary understanding of themselves as personal contributors to the building of a better world.

Since 1832, we have equipped our students with A Consequential Education—one that gives rise to a purposeful and contributive life, a consequential life. Today, our College is seeking to be even more intentional in naming, owning, and delivering on this promise. Articulated in full and embodied in the stories of this magazine—and through the lives and careers of our 30,000-plus Gettysburg alumni—our promise serves as an institutional declaration. It is an endorsement for a particular kind of liberal arts and sciences education, an approach we believe to be the best, most effective form of a contemporary undergraduate experience.

Our consequential education gives students greater insight into who they are, what they want to accomplish, and how they will define and lead their own consequential lives. In short, it is what readies them to do the great work for which we know they are capable.

We face immense challenges in our time, reminding us again of President Lincoln’s exhortation to advance “the unfinished work.” Those consequential words weren’t lost on the students and professors of our College when Lincoln spoke to them on the morning of Nov. 19, 1863, and they are not lost on the students and professors of today’s Gettysburg College. Now, as much as at any point in our history, the world needs the consequential education we provide, and the courageous and collaborative changemakers we produce.

Our alumni play a vital role in helping us deliver on our promise. Your support, your mentorship, and your belief can alter the trajectory of a student’s life—and advance Gettysburg College’s mission. I hope as you read this issue of the magazine you will reflect on your own Gettysburg experience, and the consequence of that experience in your life.

Bob Iuliano