Fall at America’s Environmental College
August 20, 2018
Unity College Colleagues,
The first fall color in the trees – like I saw this weekend – always gives me pause. Even though I know it is coming, every Maine fall feels like it comes fast but every fall is special. Every fall brings its own feel, its own signature moments, and its own place in time. For Unity College, each fall brings its own new memories and its own unique group of students, faculty, and staff to Unity College. And as we continue to achieve the mission of America’s Environmental College, each new fall brings more connections with employees and students living all over the world. These are exciting times to be a part of Unity College, and the world has never needed us more! I hope you appreciate the importance of what you do every day to manifest Unity College in the world. As we are constantly inundated with news of college closings and the challenges facing higher education, sometimes it seems like we are too busy even to take a moment for a little reflection and appreciation – at least that is how it feels to me.
In this brief window, before our students return in force, I’m especially struck by how important they are. These students – our students – have chosen to attend Unity College and that means they are incredibly important. Not just to us, though they certainly are special to us, but to the whole world. The very future of our planet and the critters (human and otherwise) who live on this ever-shrinking globe depend on responsible sustainability leaders and stewards like those we educate and graduate. Our learners are integral to a sustainable future, and so we are too! When the details of the day-to-day start dominating our minds as well as our time, let’s promise to help each other remember the importance of what we do. And let’s promise to make time to work for the future as well as for dealing with the day.
Let’s remember, as well, to make time throughout the year to express our gratitude. I’m grateful for our students because they give our work purpose. But I’m also grateful for you – the staff and faculty of America’s Environmental College. I’m grateful to you for always being there when you are needed: when a strong student needs an extra challenge; when a fellow staff member needs a hand; or when a grateful president asks for even more in service to this special place. I’m grateful every day for your passion and your commitment to our common cause.
There will be time at professional development later this week to share all the details about summer projects and the year’s priorities. For now, let me just remind you to join us for the college opening of the newly renovated (and renamed!) Unity College Center for the Arts on August 30. I think you will love what you see almost as much as our faculty & staff have loved designing it for our students.
I’m also excited to join you, once again, for the “Welcome Home” move-in day this Friday. Nothing says Unity College more than carrying the heaviest duffel bag up the three flights of Wood Hall. Our new Flagship students and their parents tell me over and over how much they love it. And after we freshen up a bit, Convocation and the Tree Dedication ceremony are a powerful tradition of welcome and legacy.
This is my favorite time of year at Unity College, bar none. Fall weather brings with it our wonderful students – new and returning graduate students online and undergraduate students here and from a distance. I know many look to spring as a season of hope and renewal. For me, it’s fall that brings me hope and excitement and passion for our shared work. Because, for me, fall has always meant a new school year and that means students, faculty, staff, and the opportunities for institutional and personal transformation that come with them. That come with you! Thank you for your dedication and service to America’s Environmental College.
So thank you for all you do! And let’s start this new year strong
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
Our Mission Through the framework of sustainability science, Unity College provides a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Through experiential and collaborative learning, our graduates emerge as responsible citizens, environmental stewards, and visionary leaders.
Increase in annual giving (2014 - 2017)
Increase in sq. footage of campus buildings (2014 - 2016)
Increase in annual operating budget (2014 - 2017)