Welcome to the early days of a new academic year!
For those of you who are new to Loras, I welcome and encourage you to take full advantage of the many opportunities we provide. For those of you returning for another chapter in your Loras experience, I hope you’ll continue to build upon your successes to date and remain highly engaged with the campus community.
Personally, it has been great fun being able to reconnect with many of you after a long summer. It’s also been enjoyable meeting any number of our new undergraduate and graduate students.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared Loras’ statement on human dignity and offered a brief update regarding some of our recent national accolades. For now, I simply want to provide a few “worth repeating” tips to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding academic journey. Here are my top 10 “du’s:”
1. Represent yourself, your family and Loras College well. Go to class and conduct your daily affairs with class. Accept responsibility. Be accountable. Be honest.
2. Prioritize learning. Attend lectures. Read more than what’s required. Get to know our faculty and staff. Access readily available resources (e.g., Writing Center, Lynch Learning Center, Academic Resource Center, Center for Experiential Learning).
3. Expand your experience. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. Attend a theater production. Support Duhawk athletics. Make time to listen to a music performance. Look into a study away opportunity.
4. Get involved. Join an organization or two. Volunteer to advance a cause or assist those in need. Sign-up for a spiritual retreat. Run for a leadership position.
5. Feed your soul. Pray. Attend Mass. Meditate. Embrace differences and cherish shared values. Know that we are called to find God in others and creation.
6. Think before you act. What you post, like, or retweet is your brand and represents your character whether you like it or not.
7. Build relationships. Your life will be enhanced and richer with others. Everyone has something to learn and teach. Loras is a community of individuals not cliques.
8. Speak truth with respect. If you have an issue or concern, it ought to be shared directly with the person, program or department who can best address it. This is both the honorable and right thing to do.
9. Know you are never alone. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone struggles. Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone needs a nudge. Our faculty and staff can help guide you on most every matter. It is OK to share disappointment.
10. Be positive. Get sleep. Exercise. Eat healthier. Participate in “Du It Forward.” Avoid drama. Give praise. Say thanks. Give a hug. Demonstrate care. Pray – again. Love always.
Let’s have a great year. Go DUHAWKS!
James E. Collins ‘84