It has been an honour to be part of “MUWCI’s” journey over the past few years. As with all earthly utopias, this place has its quirks and tensions, its odd mix of magical ideal and murky reality. But being here has engaged my imagination and allowed me to find delight in the things that really count. Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love, wrote the 13th century mystic poet, Rumi. I have felt the quiet power of that pull in my time here.
Of all the things I will take away with me the most precious is a richer understanding of life and the part that education can play in shaping it. Teaching can too easily be reduced to a technique or even a technology. But the best teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher. Relationships are the key – as one sage put it, we only truly learn from those we love.
Like many UWC graduates, I have found things of enduring value here and they have shaped my sense of that ‘one thing’ besides which all else is trivial. Therefore, I feel I am graduating rather than leaving – and there is quite a difference between the two! Graduating is as much about what we take away as what we leave behind. And what do we do when we find that ‘one thing?’ Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome at the zenith of its power and expansion, penned these words when contemplating the challenge of new opportunity: Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now……….take what’s left and live it properly. Such is the remarkable opportunity life offers us when we step into something new.
In a few weeks from now, Mr. Pelham Roberts arrives as the new Head of College. His strong background with UWC and extensive experience give him the ideal foundation from which to lead this community into the next exciting phase of growth and development. I know how much his visit here left the deep impression that he was the right person for the job – and I also know how very enthusiastic he is about the opportunities here. It is a great pleasure to be handing over to him. I know you will all join me in wishing Pelham and his family everything of the very best as they begin this new adventure in India.
Dr Jonathan Long
Head of College