This week we’re going to talk about Fontbonne’s mission statement! In case you’re not familiar with it, or if it’s been awhile since you saw it, here it is straight from Fontbonne’s website — “Fontbonne University, a Catholic institution sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is committed to the common good through the daily pursuit of transformative education, inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically, act ethically, and serve responsibly.”
Since last semester was my first one here, I was required to take INT 105, Culture and the Common Good, which introduced me specifically to Fontbonne’s mission statement, vision, values, statement of Catholic identity, and what they want from me as a student during my four years here…and how I take what I learn into the world. I didn’t know what to expect in this class, but I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of the semester. I was blessed to have the sweetest teacher ever; a very intimate, small class of students with a wide variety of majors; and a large amount of personal growth and development. Over four months, we had conversations about everything from religion and Fontbonne’s academic convocation to transportation and vocations. The thread holding all those topics together was the common good, which is clearly stated in the mission statement. I really enjoyed digging deep into what it means and how it affects practically every aspect of our lives — healthcare, transportation, religion, education, relationships, careers, etc. The discussions we had were respectful, diverse, and educational. It was so inspiring to see and be a part of young adults maturely engaging in conversations about sometimes-controversial topics!
I emerged from this class with a much broader view of the world and the people around me — a global citizen. I now understood and could explain what Fontbonne’s values and mission meant, and I had been encouraged to form my own opinions and thoughts — think critically — while also respecting the people who I did not agree with — act ethically. Ultimately, I found myself embodying Fontbonne’s mission statement in my everyday life, whether I was studying, going to class, eating lunch, working, spending time with family and friends, or interacting with the cashier in a store. It enshrouded me completely, not just while I was on campus, but everywhere.
I sincerely hope the same thing happened or is happening for you. You don’t have to agree with everyone 100% of the time. You don’t have to spend 24 hours a day volunteering. You don’t have to analyze every world event that happens. But you can certainly aspire and work to be a respectful listener, volunteer, and global citizen. Let’s all try to do that a bit more in the coming months.
Until next week,