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Why Xing Wei College?

——Dr. David Stafford,学院教授

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Why Xing Wei College?

——Dr. David Stafford,学院教授

What reasons would a person like me have for joining a new institution on the other side of the Earth from my home?  And why should students from China, from the United States, and from other countries leave their homes to become a part of it?


        
What reasons would a person like me have for joining a new institution on the other side of the Earth from my home?  And why should students from China, from the United States, and from other countries leave their homes to become a part of it?

My name is Dr. David Stafford.  Last year I came to visit Xing Wei College, met its leaders, and walked through its beautiful campus.  I slowly realized what a stunning opportunity this was and soon decided to take a new turn in life: I will be leaving a professorship in psychology and neuroscience in the United States, where I have been teaching and doing research for almost twenty years, to join an incredible idea.  But Xing Wei College is much more than an idea; it is a dream becoming reality.

Consider its motto and the guiding principles within it:

freedom to explore
passion to achieve
conscience to do good

These statements embody what I think are the best features of an influential educational philosophy known as the liberal arts.  The liberal-arts philosophy is at the heart of the great institutions of learning in the United States that are known around the world.  These colleges and universities strive to stimulate innovative, creative thinking while also challenging young minds to understand the values of humility and treating the natural world and its inhabitants with respect.  Perhaps most importantly, the liberal-arts college philosophy helps students develop the skills they will need to help solve real problems in the real world now and in the future.

Many people in the so-called Western World are coming to understand that they and their civilizations do not have all the answers to the complexities that human beings face in their lives on Earth.  The answers to human struggles are not always economic or financial.  Nor are they always intellectual and available in books.  Is it possible that better ideas, better actions, and better solutions could emerge from a mingling and a merging of the values, the educational philosophies, and the dreams of the Western World and the Eastern World?

I think so.  In my opinion, Xing Wei College will be what biologists call a catalyst – it will be an environment that encourages ingredients that were once separate entities to come together and form something new.  It will be much like Shanghai – a place where the Eastern World and the Western World can meet respectfully and learn from one another.  It will be a college where the strengths and insights of many different peoples across the face of the Earth are placed in the minds and the hands of the young people who will shape the future.

I believe that the mission of Xing Wei College is an honorable one, and I feel so strongly in its purpose that I am bringing my family across the oceans to settle in China.  We have an opportunity to create and to be a part of something great.  The other professors and I are ready to get started.  To the potential students who may be reading this: are you ready to join us?

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