|(from left) William Jewell president David Sallee, President Jimmy Carter, and CJS benefactor Dianne Shumaker ’66
President Jimmy Carter joined about 50 friends, students and faculty members of William Jewell College at a luncheon today celebrating the founding gift for the College’s new Center for Justice and Sustainability. The private event was held in the Yates-Gill College Union on the College campus in Liberty, Mo.
William Jewell College President David Sallee announced that a founding gift has been made by alumna Dianne Shumaker ’66 to provide significant funding for the new College program.
“Institutions of higher learning have the responsibility to produce thoughtful, compassionate leaders who possess the commitment, the competence and the confidence to address significant issues related to social justice and the environment,” Dr. Sallee said. “Dianne’s generous gift represents a major step toward William Jewell’s fulfillment of that responsibility.”
Believing that justice and sustainability issues must be addressed by a well-educated and motivated populace, William Jewell College established in 2008 the Center for Justice and Sustainability in order to develop in its students the ability to address significant issues in human communities and in social, economic and ecological systems.
“One of the highlights of my visit has been meeting with Dianne,” President Carter said. “I admire her passion for promoting issues related to peace and sustainability.”
Carter noted: “I come here with some credentials as an alumnus of William Jewell. I feel at home here, and it is good to be back with you.” Carter received an honorary doctorate from the College during an appearance on campus in 1986.
Dianne Shumaker, a member of the William Jewell class of 1966, has been a generous benefactor to the College. In addition to her founding gift for the Center for Justice and Sustainability, she has made major contributions to the College’s Jewell Fund and to the Sorority Complex and Greek Common project.
“The Center for Justice and Sustainability at William Jewell is at the heart of the College’s mission to cultivate leadership, service, and spiritual growth,” Dr. Sallee said. “The Center’s role in this mission is to raise awareness of social, economic, and ecological challenges within our world in order to invite students to spend their lives creating solutions to these complex and interconnected issues.”
Dr. Sallee noted that William Jewell students have a longstanding commitment to service. During the 2007-08 school year alone, students contributed more than 44,000 hours of service to the community.
“William Jewell recognizes that there is a greater common good—greater than our own selves—that must be served,” Dr. Sallee said. “Establishing the Center says that this common good has a central place in students’ lives, and that their education is meant to benefit others as well as themselves.”
In order for students to better understand justice issues, the Center will sponsor projects that put education into practice. Local action projects will involve students in justice and sustainability work on campus and in the Kansas City region. Later this month, the first grants for Justice and Sustainability Projects will be awarded to two Jewell students and one academic department. Students envision and design their own projects to address justice and sustainability issues around the world. The grant competition will fund two or three projects each year. The College is currently seeking additional funding to expand the grant competition.
The Center for Justice and Sustainability’s signature event will be an annual Summit. This two- to three-day gathering will celebrate current students and Jewell graduates who have committed their careers to social, economic and ecological justice. The annual Summit will feature national speakers and workshops and will be open to community members.
“Our goal will be for participants to leave the Summit energized about putting their own ideas into action,” Dr. Sallee said. For more information about the Center for Justice and Sustainability, go to www.jewell.edu
The luncheon with President Carter followed his appearance at the Baptist Border Crossing meeting at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.
William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than 1.5 million.