ABOVE: John E. Klein (center) and students from the Randolph College Nursery School participated in the national Read for the Record Day, which was sponsored by the Smart Beginnings of Central Virginia coalition. Randolph College is active in the coalition, which works to improve early childhood educational opportunities.
Desmond Tutu, who was featured on the cover of the December issue of Randolph, once said, “Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Randolph’s community members do many “little bits of good” in Lynchburg, and those acts add up to make a difference. We do everything from volunteering in schools, to serving on city committees and boards, to offering expertise to nonprofit organizations. The College adds to the quality of life in Lynchburg by providing a nationally ranked educational program, employment opportunities, and exciting events and speakers. Lynchburg individuals and groups also use our wonderful museum, our new field and track, and our swimming pool.
This involvement not only ensures strong relationships with our neighbors but also provides the best possible educational experience for our students, who benefit from the bonds we form with internships and other experiential learning opportunities. The city benefits from the expertise and energy offered by our faculty, staff, and students, and everyone learns a bit about everyone else and about our interconnectedness.
Our list of involvements is long. Our students and faculty have developed partnerships with local Cub Scouts; our first-years participate in a Randolph Day of Caring with a variety of Lynchburg nonprofit organizations during Orientation; our athletes and coaches have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity; and our faculty and staff serve on the boards of arts organizations, film festival committees, the Lynchburg Planning Commission, Young Professionals of Central Virginia, and many other organizations. My own service on the board of Amazement Square, our local children’s museum, has taught me much about the city and allowed me to be involved in a great downtown organization that serves the whole region.
We often talk about our students setting forth from behind the Red Brick Wall when they graduate. That wall, built in 1930, separates our front campus from the busy traffic of Rivermont Avenue. What it has never done is separate our College from our community. We are proud to call Lynchburg, Virginia, home. What better way to teach our students to live a life more abundant than to introduce them to the difference they can make right outside their front door?
John E. Klein