Arcadia, Community Leaders Discuss Joint Projects, Public Service

By Purnell T. Cropper | August 19, 2011

Arcadia President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III dedicated part of his second day in office to visiting two of the area’s community leaders. On Aug. 2, accompanied by Provost Steve O. Michael, he met first with the Rev. Alyn Waller, Pastor of Enon Baptist Church, and then with State Sen. LeAnna M. Washington, to discuss Arcadia University’s role as a full partner in the Greater Glenside Community.

Enon and Arcadia already work together—with the University’s baseball team using the Enon field and two Enon youth ministry members receiving scholarships to Arcadia. But President Oxholm expressed his interest in expanding that relationship—in particular, partnering with Enon in service projects that were organized by Enon. The two institutions will start planning joint projects for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (Jan. 16, 2012). “This is what not-for-profit education should be about: preparing our students to be servants to community as well as leaders in business and industry,” said President Oxholm.

President Oxholm and Provost Michael also paid their respects to Sen. Washington and her staff, from whom they enjoyed a warm reception. The President committed to supporting the Senator’s inaugural “Walk to End Domestic Violence” on Oct. 22. “Domestic violence happens quickly but leaves permanent damage. We need to do more to help the victims, but also to educate the community to the signs, so we can respond with support more quickly,” he said. The leaders also discussed several mutual goals for the local community, such as increasing pedestrian safety at the corner of Church and Limekiln and the opportunity to create a coffee shop and other “college town” amenities near Oak Summit, which would need strong state and community support to happen.

For the past two decades, Sen. Washington has served as a driving force in the community and is a role model for women and men alike in the perseverance she has demonstrated in overcoming huge odds in her rise to community leadership. In recognition of her personal accomplishments and record of service to others, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the Arcadia University Undergraduate Commencement on May 21, 2010. She serves the 4th Senatorial District, which covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties.

President Oxholm has been explicit about the central role of public service in higher education—a theme he sounded in his remarks during Commencement 2011 when he paid his first official visit to campus. “Our students are among the most privileged people in the world because of the high quality of the education they receive and the beauty and safety of our extraordinary campus. They have the capacity; they have the training; they have the skills; they have the background—they have everything in life going for them. And when they leave Arcadia, they have to know how powerful they can be in making a very big difference in the lives of others, by giving just an hour or two each week in service to those less fortunate.”