December 5, 2012
As is often the case at this time of year, when we tend to be especially mindful and thoughtful about the cares and concerns of our fellows, I am reminded of WesternU's core values in ways that I believe are essential not only to health care and health professions education, but to living a useful and rewarding life.
Chief among these is how we function as a University community, conducting business and dealing personally with one another in a manner that many have described as "The WesternU Way." This attitude - this notion that we all are in this together, to make everything we do the best it can be, and to raise everyone up in the process - extends beyond the classroom, the lecture hall and the lab. It lives in the friendly day-to-day exchanges between students, faculty, employees, alumni, and supporters; in the way we have each other's back when challenges arise; in the ideas and enthusiasm we share about the future of our institution; and in our anticipation of others' needs, and our preparations to meet them. In short, it lives in our ability to care about others first, and ourselves second.
This quality is the central theme of a lithograph in my office that has provided me with inspiration and comfort over the years. It shows a physician attending to his patient, saying "I will be here for you, you can be sure," to comfort the worried man. He is putting his patient's needs first, just as all of us do in many ways here at WesternU, whether we are dealing with patients or not.
The celebrated author Jack London once noted: "It is so simple a remedy, merely service. Not one ignoble thought or act is demanded of any one of all men and women in the world to make fair the world. The call is for nobility of thinking, nobility of doing. The call is for service, and, such is the wholesomeness of it, he who serves all, best serves himself."
As we enter the holiday season, I hope this quality is ever more in evidence in every encounter you have, with every person you greet, and for every activity in which you take part.
I wish all of you and yours the very happiest and healthiest of seasons, and extend my best wishes for the coming New Year.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU's Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at email@example.com, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
All the best,