(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 11, 2015
MAHWAH, NJ — The message of global peace and non-violence was the main focus of Arun Gandhi’s keynote address during the ninth annual Diversity Convocation at Ramapo College on February 4. Gandhi, the grandson of peace activist Mohandas Gandhi, told a capacity crowd that the lessons he learned as a boy while living with his grandfather in India have carved his life’s mission.
“My grandfather used to tell me that the first thing you should do when you get up in the morning is tell yourself that you will be a better human being today than you were yesterday,” Gandhi said. “We are interconnected with all of creation. We must break down the prejudices so we can look at each other as human beings and live with each other as human beings.”
Noting that the culture of violence has “taken over every aspect of our lives,” Gandhi said he has established a “season for non-violence” from January 30 through April 4, marking the violent deaths of his grandfather and Martin Luther King Jr., respectively.
“We must build relationships based on four fundamentals: respect, understanding, acceptance and appreciation,” Gandhi said. “When we achieve that, it is possible to transform people… and channel the anger into constructive energy.”
In his introductory remarks, Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer said the College’s diverse community of students, faculty and staff makes it a “stronger place to grow and learn.”
“It’s important that we focus on quality, not quantity of diversity,” President Mercer said. “We must learn from one another.”
Gandhi’s appearance at Ramapo College was sponsored by the Board of Trustees and the Diversity Action Committee.
About Ramapo College
Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.
Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.
Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels. Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market.
Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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