Welcome from Enid Newberg, President
Witches, wizards, and muggles – a warm welcome to our celebration here at what we call Hogwarts West.
Test of speech
Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist, sociologist, and systems thinker, stated that meaning is found in the pattern that connects. In his book Mind and Nature, he states a “pattern may be changed or broken by addition, by repetition, by anything that will force you to a new perception of it, and these changes can never be predicted with absolute certainty because they have not yet happened.”
When you change the pattern that connects, you have learning, not just acquiring new facts. And new learning may take you to unexpected places. This is the goal of higher education and our goal at Kepler College. We follow the liberal studies tradition that gives its students not just new facts and figures, but skills that will sustain them in the future –habits of questioning and reconfiguring old patterns into something new and meaningful.
Reconfiguring patterns is not a comfortable or easy process. But right now, with the sudden and unexpected changes happening day by day, these skills are critical.
And the freedom that this type of education provides is that it gives you choice - Instead of accepting what others say or bowing to the pressures of conformity, you can consciously explore your options, decide what is important and what is not. Life is too short to be trapped by a litany of what other’s think or by your own internal comfort zones. Thank you for being here tonight as our graduates start the next phase of their lives and began to create new patterns for themselves.
I also want to thank our donors without whom Kepler College could not exist. In particular, I want to thank Mark Douglas, whose generosity since 2003 has helped us develop our programs and whose scholarships have helped students who would not otherwise be able to attend the College. I also want to give thanks to the Marion and Nico March Foundation. Kepler’s electronic library resource is dedicated to Marion March, who was a prominent figure in the astrological community and strong supporter of Kepler College. Her family continues that tradition and her son Nico March was Chair of the Board of Trustees for three years.
I also want to acknowledge our President’s Circle: Chris Chris Uihlein, Patricia Sams and Kepler graduate student, Lynn Hawley-Bootes, the generosity and support of our current Board member Christine Arens, recording secretary of the AFA, president of the Friends of Astrology, and the support and generosity of the many other individuals who have contributed to the College and to our students.