Making our Mark on a New World
world is a very different place from when we last met.
As for this great nation, it is forever changed and no longer innocent.
For decades we have been horrified witnesses to the work of terrorists
around the globe; now they have brought their atrocities to our
shores, and thousands of our citizens are victims of a perverted
and murderous interpretation of one of the worlds great religions.
The depth of our mourning is matched only by the depth of our resolve
to find and punish those who are responsible.
The historic resilience of our country in the face of adversity
will stand us in good stead now as it has in the past. Yes, America
has been changed. We have been shaken out of our complacency and
sense of well-being. We have been stripped of the illusion that
somehow we are immune from the violence that plagues much of the
rest of the world. We now know that we, too, are vulnerable. Hopefully,
however, this will cause us to renew our commitment to the values
and beliefs on which this nation was founded and which we have too
often taken for granted in our pursuit of materialism and endless
I know it is the fervent prayer of each of us that our leaders be
blessed with the wisdom and courage to deal with this threat to
our national security. We are facing a situation without precedent
in our history, a situation fraught with the gravest peril. Yet
we must not withdraw behind our borders and abdicate our responsibilitiesand
the risks that go with themas the leader of the free world.
In uncertain times such as these it is comforting to find examples
of steadfastness and stability. For many of us, we need look no
further than our beloved alma mater. Oberlin College has always
stood for the same ideals America has stood for: equality, justice,
compassion, respect for human rightsqualities that will continue
to shape our nation and its role in the world in spite of the aberrant
behavior of the followers of any cause or cult.
At this time of national tragedy and mourning, it is worth recalling
that for 168 years Oberlin has been graduating men and women of
intelligence, character, and goodwill who have gone out into the
world and made a difference. And it is a source of inspiration to
know that Oberlin will go right on doing the same thing for another
How can we be sure? Because it is who we are and it is what we are.
God bless the United States of America and God bless Oberlin College.
J. Klutznick 61
Chairman, Board of Trustees