President’s Message: Conversation not Confrontation

Welcome, Brenau Students, Faculty and Staff,

I hope you look forward to this new year at Brenau University as much as I do! I want to take this opportunity not only to welcome each of you, but also to remind everyone that Brenau is committed to being an institution where every individual has a voice and is valued. We are committed to an environment of acceptance, a place in which students are free to learn without fear of prejudice or harassment. To that end, I would like to remind you that Amanda Lammers serves as the university’s Title IX officer. She helps insure that our school responds to any form of sexual misconduct. Her office is located in the Owens Student Center, and she may be reached at 770.534.6108.

Over the summer I also approved the formation of an Inclusion Committee to further assist in making Brenau a welcoming place for all people. Following through on the ideas of mutual respect, the Department of Student Services has established a theme for the year. That theme is Conversation not Confrontation. I want us all to engage in conversation and, as a result, grow with the new ideas and new perspectives we will gain from each other, the community of Brenau!

As Brenau begins its 138th year of changing lives through education, the turbulent events of the summer remind me that the world needs our product more than ever – our product, of course, being well-educated citizens. Brenau’s educational experiences go beyond the content of the coursework. They happen when we encounter, in a variety of ways, those who are different from us. We must allow ourselves to grow from those encounters.

In a world where people increasingly communicate through #hashtags and Snapchats, my hope for you this year is an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with people who are different from you, whether they are from the other side of the world or from just a few miles away. You probably are familiar with the old principle of “strength through diversity.” We should relish the truth in that adage as it applies to the rich, wonderful environment that is Brenau. My staff and I plan to encourage a variety of ways to increase our feeling of community and truly foster conversation, soliciting your input and ideas.

As always, I wish you the very best in the year to come.

Ed L. Schrader, Ph.D.
Brenau University