Omeka - Digital History at Ursinus

"A Call for Diversity," November 19, 1991

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"A Call for Diversity," November 19, 1991


A sense of identity with Ursinus


Alumna and Associate Director of Development Jill Leauber Sherman, class of 1978, calls on students to "unite" behind the "same diploma."


Jill Leauber Sherman


The Grizzly


Ursinus College


November 19, 1991

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Dear Editor:

For many years I have read first The Weekly and then The Grizzly with great interest. Iinfrequently, I have contributed articles, but I have never felt compelled to write a Letter to the Editor...until now.

The tone of many articles in the paper recently has been disconcerting to me. It appears that students struggle to find their niche on campus, be it through the Greek system, GALA, sports teams, other formal campus organizations or an independent group of friends, only to be pigeonholed into singular beliefs and attitudes. Even more unbelievable and dismaying is the particular focus of some faculty and staff who work in a liberal arts environment but have never strayed from one narrow parth of thinking. Certainly, education thrives on open discussion and debate; however, the educational value of such discourse is lost when an intellectual exchange gives way to emotional verbiage meant only to attack and not enlighten.

While eating lunch in the faculty dining room (And no, we do not sit in the same seat every day) this week, I heard someone note that America has "lost its sense of community." If that is true, Ursinus is in the mainstream. Yet, I am deeply saddened to think that along with outrsense of community, that we at the College are losing a sense of who we are and what our purpose is. I am awed to think that some of what I valued most about my Ursinus education--a tolerance of others, an exposure to new ideas and experiences, an increased cultural awareness, and a thirst for more knowledge--are being missed by some of those on campus who are easily sidetracked from our educational mission by finger pointing and feelings of self-righteousness.

Perhaps it is all a matter of perspective. Nearly thirteen years have passed since my graduation from Ursinus. Now, when I am with my peers at Homecoming, professional gatherings, and friendly get-togethers, it is not so important anymore to know if we were Greek or non-Greek, atheletes or non-atheltes, heterosexual or homosexual. We are united by the same diploma. We are advanced by our exchange of ideas, however diverse. We are proud of our Ursinus experience. As one graduate wrote after her fiftieth Ursinus College reunion this year:

"To me it was a real joy to meet with everyone--no one trying to 'put on airs' or 'be a big shot.' Life has beautifully matured and mellowed all of us. The dross has been burned off and we all seem to have developed as God planned us to be

"There were those scarely known who have endured great hardship, suffering and loss, and yet they have emerged a beautiful, wonderful people I'm proud to have been a member of the class of 1941."

This is a touching reflection. I sincerly hope it will not take all of us fifty years to come to this realization.

Sincerely yours,
Jill Leauber Sherman, '78
Associate Director of Development


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Jill Leauber Sherman , “"A Call for Diversity," November 19, 1991,” Omeka - Digital History at Ursinus, accessed August 11, 2022,