My Conference Takeaway: Campus Compact Remains Essential
Happy Friday, Compact Nation!
I’m taking today off, so I’m sitting in my kitchen with a cup of coffee. Perhaps inevitably, I find myself reflecting on the events of this week. What strikes me most is how good I feel to be a member of Compact Nation.
That’s partly because our national office team did such a fabulous job. It’s partly because I kept hearing from presidents at the Summit how much they appreciate the work of our state and regional Compacts. It’s partly because I witnessed the connections between so many of us and conference participants from our member campuses. It’s partly because of the great job EDs and staff did as presenters, as introducers at the Summit and on the plenary stage, as creators of fun when we were inviting people to goofily embrace flying t-shirts, and in a million small ways all week long.
Here is another thing I take away from this week: Campus Compact remains essential. If higher education is to become what it must become, we will play a major role in the transformation. There are many great organizations in our movement, but we are distinctive–because of our size, our openness to all institutions, and, especially, because of our close connections to institutions and communities across the country. Since I began as president nearly two years ago, I have felt that all of our allies have been waiting and hoping for a clear demonstration that we are prepared to play the role that only we can play. This week it was all on display: our capacity to bring people together, our spirit of shared commitment and shared work, our openness to new ideas, our focus on big questions that matter to our world, the bounce in our collective stride. That matters not because it shows how important we are–though we should be cognizant of the responsibility that brings–but because of the potential it creates for forging new linkages that make the whole of our movement greater than the sum of its parts.
I hope everyone’s travels were smooth and safe. I hope you are looking forward to a weekend of relaxation and maybe even some fun. For those who were not able to be in Boston this week, I hope you feel energized by the positive vibes emanating from our gathering. I look forward to seeing many of you at our network meeting in June–and several of you between now and then in various places across our land
Onward Compact Nation!
Andrew J. Seligsohn, PhD