Brenau is Your Community

Fountain in the foreground with people behind.

Students faculty and staff bow their heads for a moment of silence. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Dear Friends,

None of us can predict what the future holds. This post-election period has been a time of uncertainty and, in some specific situations around the United States, a time when people have used offensive and threatening speech or actions. Of course, you know such behavior is never acceptable anywhere, and it is not tolerated at Brenau. We need to participate in conversations and dialog to get past our own inherent biases and misconceptions. Conversation, not Confrontation!

I write this short and specific note with two purposes: 1) to re-emphasize Brenau’s commitment to fairness, freedom of expression, equality, respect, tolerance, multiculturalism and providing a loving and safe environment; and 2) to reiterate that Brenau does not tolerate threatening or hateful actions or speech. The university will deal with any such actions quickly and with a sense of justice.

One additional thought: This past election seems to have generated more energy after the results are in than it did during the run-up to Election Day. Of course, some of this new energy is due to the fact that the winner is unacceptable to a large group of citizens and permanent residents. Conversely, voters who feel excluded from the political process and are eager for change generate some of the energy as well. Neither of these reasons is sufficient to become belligerent or to disregard the rights of others as you protest.

Now is a great time to begin your civic service. Whether your candidate won or lost, she or he will need your involvement in government. You should establish the habit of speaking out on civic and civil affairs throughout your lives, not just during the presidential campaign. Get involved.

Why not take the advice of First Lady Michelle Obama and Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan: Volunteer! Work toward a positive result for the next election in which you have a personal interest. Regardless of any opposition efforts to quiet your voice, ignore them. Work around them. Get your person elected!

I suggest the following strategy for folks who are concerned that the president-elect has the wrong position on certain policies that may adversely affect you or our society. Consider this path: 1) Respectfully express to him and his team your specific concern with his policy positions through emails, tweets, letters, petitions, etc. 2) Give him a chance to act on a wide range of policy issues and see if his performance is more appropriate than you previously thought; 3) If not, then resist his positions through contacting your congressional representatives in large numbers. Join the grassroots groups who peacefully and forcefully speak against those policies. Work in the next election cycle, two years from now, to elect representatives who will stand up for your beliefs. Organization with good intent and good strategy leads toward successful results.

Remember: Conversation, not Confrontation.

Sincerely,
Ed Schrader

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.
President
Brenau University

A letter from President Ed Schrader, Ph.D.

Office of the President

Dear Colleagues,

This academic year promises to be extraordinary, showing growth in many areas. We are beginning to see the positive results of hard work in recruiting, admissions, academic programming, enhanced student services, and increased stewardship and upkeep of our historic facilities!

As a member of our family of employees, you are crucial to Brenau’s mission of providing an extraordinary educational experience for our students, developing their personal values, and helping them become leading citizens in their communities. I am grateful for your hard work and dedication to Brenau and these students. They are our collective legacy. Your generous gifts of time and talent keep our institution strong.

Last year, 85 percent of Brenau University employees stepped up to support our university with much needed financial support for our students through the annual Campus Campaign. Together, we raised more than $84,000 for their scholarships and financial support.

Keeping a high percentage of employees as active givers in the Annual Campaign is crucial to external funding by private foundations and donors. They look at your percentage of participation as a “buy-in” to the mission and effectiveness of the university. So, no matter the size or amount of your gift, your participation is critical to advance the entire institution.

The theme of this year’s campaign, “Give Back,” reflects what faculty and staff do on a daily basis working for an educational institution like Brenau. With your help we would like to continue to create opportunities for our students through scholarships, cutting edge technology, top-notch faculty, beautiful facilities, and a myriad of extraordinary learning experiences.

With two weeks to go in this year’s campaign, I ask that each of you “Give Back” financially to Brenau this year. Your gift to Brenau is significant in two main ways:

1. While very large donations are important to a university, it is the multitude of small and medium-sized gifts that provide additional funds to our departments, colleges and other projects. Your gift, combined with thousands of others, makes it possible for Brenau to achieve its mission.

2. Alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and even your neighbors take note when our faculty and staff – those who know the institution best – endorse and support its operations with their own hard-earned money. Your gift, regardless of its size, attracts gifts from others.

Participation is easy. You can make your gift through payroll deduction, by check or credit card by using the pledge form (download a PDF). You also can make a payroll deduction or give by credit card online at https://www.brenau.edu/giving/employeegiving/. Direct your gift to any college, department, program or scholarship you prefer, or make an unrestricted gift to be used to address the university’s most urgent needs. Remember, the amount of the gift is not as important as your participation.

I hope I can count on you to participate this year. Together, we build Brenau’s continued success. Together, we reaffirm the importance of the value of higher education. Together, we help our students achieve their dreams. Thank you for helping Brenau to accomplish our noble missions!

Sincerely,

Ed Schrader, Ph.D.
President