Global Citizenship and Responsible Leadership: Rollins President Grant Cornwell’s 2016 Convocation Address

To mark the beginning of a new school year, students settled into the auditorium to hear Rollins President Grant Cornwell speak to inspire incoming students and remind them of our purpose here at Rollins.  The liberal educational community of Rollins remains invested in the futures of students and global civil society.  During our time on campus, we live in the Rollins ‘bubble,’ immersed in liberal learning in order to make sense of our society, so that we may emerge prepared to recognize and solve complex issues of the world.  President Cornwell’s words parallel the mission of the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub—to foster global citizens and leaders, catalyzing the growth and integration of social entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability.  In this way, the Innovation Hub prepares graduates of Rollins to live a meaningful life once they leave.

The liberal education that Rollins provides to students, President Cornwell articulates, encourages students to lead worthwhile and prosperous livelihoods in today’s society.  This liberal education cultivates humanity within our students and shapes them to become ‘citizens of the world.’  The values of the Innovation Hub maintain synonymous objectives, as it equips its members to become agents of change with a focus on empathy, innovation, and awareness of social changes.  Both President Cornwell and the Innovation Hub encourage students to view the world in all aspects, applying the knowledge—the language, philosophy, history, economics, and all other learning we gain from our holistic liberal education at Rollins—to real-world problem-solving.

President Cornwell’s final statements stress the importance of listening to ideas and opinions from different points of view in order to become familiar and confident of one’s own view.  As members of a community full of differences, we must treat each other with respect and dignity, and therefore create a platform for rational and ethical deliberations and decision-making.  This concept resonates through the Innovation Hub as exposure to culture diversity is a key part of the equation to real-world problem-solving.  This diversity remains a sought after part of the mission of Rollins College as a whole.

While at Rollins, President Cornwell asks us to listen, talk, and collaborate with people who think differently than us.  Listening across those differences will allow rich, deep thinking.  At the Innovation Hub, we use this thinking to gain a deep understanding of issues combined with entrepreneurship principles to innovate for sustainable social change.  We take those ideas generated and catapult them into action.





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