One of the aspects of student life at U-M that constantly inspires me is the depth and breadth of activities that students undertake in service to others. With all their commitments to learning and research, our students seem to have a tremendous capacity to give of their time and energies for the benefit of other people, communities and global issues.
A glance at the list of more than 1300 student organizations on campus shows the extent to which students not only get involved, but also how they create opportunities to leverage shared interests and passions into constructive pursuits of service.
This issue of Family Matters includes an item about Alternative Spring Break, sponsored by the Ginsberg Center, as well as the personal testimony of a student whose work with University Unions shaped her “Michigan Difference.” Every day, Student Life staff work with students who are engaged in service projects to mentor disadvantaged children, assist communities in recovery, advance environmental sustainability, redress social injustices, and so much more – from southeastern Michigan to places on the other side of the globe.
In the process of service, students learn so much about other people, societies, cultures and issues that occupy the world beyond Ann Arbor and their homes. They also learn a great deal about themselves, in ways that cannot happen in the classroom.
Core to the work we do in Student Life is nurturing the development of the whole student, which is why we not only support student organizations and service programs, but also student development as leaders with Michigan Leadership Initiatives.
In service to students who are in service to others. Bringing along the Leaders and Best. Being part of their personal growth into global citizens is an extremely gratifying experience for me and, I trust, for you. Thank you, students!
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life
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