Inside Oberlin
Making our Mark on a New World

The 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 world’s 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 diversions.

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 responsibilities—and the risks that go with them—as 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 rights—qualities 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 168 years.

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.

Thomas J. Klutznick ’61
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Oberlin College

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