From the Desk Of

                                                      Anthony Tillman

                                                                  The End of the Beginning of the End
                            This year, 1999, marks the final year of the nineties and the incipient presence of a new
                            century.  For some, this may not necessarily be a significant or profound event.  Consider,
                            however, that for the balance of your adult life, you will live and die in the twenty-first
                            century.  Given that reality, you should be ever mindful and cognizant of the advances in
                            technology that are occurring that will effect your overall quality of life such as healthcare,
                            the economic market trends [both domestically and globally], employment and career
                            projections and governmental policies.   You can ill afford to be left unaware of these
                            events represented by these categories and their impact upon your life.  These issues
                            are impacting your life now!  It is very important for you to take an active interest in your
                            life and think about where you want to be in your future.  And wherever that may be will
                            require active planning now and will require an active and broad understanding of
                           what is going on in the world around you.

                            For example, do you understand the significance of interest rates and their impact on the
                            goods and services that you purchase?  Do you know how much it will cost to run a
                            household, i.e., rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance [automobile, homeowners, health and
                            disability], transportation, and food, just to name a few.  Do you have any idea of what are
                            the latest trends or thinking in the field(s) that you are interested in pursuing as a career?
                            As an example, for those of you who are interested in a career in the health field as a
                            physician, have you read about the first complete hand transplant that was recently
                            conducted in Kentucky?  What is the impact of this procedure on micro-surgery,
                            prosthetic technology and bio-chemistry?

                            For those of you who have an interest in a career investing money, how does the crisis
                            in the Asian market and the devaluation af the Brazilian currency impact market trends,
                            revenues and profits?  Have any of you given any thought of what type of saving plan
                            you will utilize once you start working?  What type of financial portofolio would you like
                            to achieve and who can help you create and accomplish it.  Or will your savings mechanism
                            see you surviving by living from "paycheck to paycheck?"  Where would you like to live
                            ten, fifteen, twenty years from now?

                            These are what I define as real life questions that I wish someone had discussed with me
                            or at least suggested that I think about when I was in college.  For you see, college is more
                            than a process of going to classes and completing assignments.  It is also an opportune
                            time to DREAM BIG DREAMS and begin to create the foundation for them to be realized.
                            Take charge of your life in every aspect of it and commit to enhancing it at every level,
                            intellectually, spirtually, personally and economically.  Begin to save money now, no
                            matter how miniscule the contribution may be, even if it is only five dollars a week, that's
                            two-hundred sixty dollars a year.  Again, it may not seem like much, but it is a beginning
                            if your present savings statement reads zero.

                            So, again the opportunity presents itself for each of you to challenge yourselves to do
                            the best academic work you are more than capable of achieving.  You cannot afford to
                            be a lackluster or mediocre in your approach to your studies because if you are, you
                            will be a lackluster and mediocre in your life after Drew; there is a correlation.
                            Take charge, plan now and have an outstanding semester!

                            A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great.
                                                                                                               Proverbs 18:16

                            Greetings.   One of my favorite Books of the Bible is the Book of Proverbs from the Old
                            Testament.  There are many themes interspersed throughout its thirty-one chapters
                            speaking about wisdom, faith, strength, obedience, compassion and charity for the
                            poor, the value of education/knowledge and many other matters of practical living.
                            There are similar passages found in the Koran and the Torah.  When you assess and
                            synthesize the messages found in all three of these religious and spiritual texts, you
                            are left with one important central theme:  The gift and importance of knowledge.
                            Knowledge or education is something that we in contemporary society take for
                            granted.  We tend to forget that not so many years ago that access to an education
                            was limited to a select few based upon ability to pay, ethnic affiliation, gender or
                            religious association.  Today, many of those barriers have been eliminated, but not
                            all.  And today, many more people have a college education than not.  But, the
                            question that needs to be asked and answered is, What are the educated doing
                            with their education?!?

                            Clearly an education should provide you with the opportunity to improve your
                            quality of life, and hopefully those whom you cherish.  Yet, does it also provide
                            opportunities to assist those less fortunate?  Is this the responsibility of the
                            educated or is it the shame and guilt of the unfortunate ones?  Because you are
                            here at Drew and in the Educational Opportunity Scholars Program you have
                            been provided a gift that will open many doors for you.  This education will
                            give you assess to many great things and experiences in your life.  However,
                            if you use your education and its accouterments to advance only your gain,
                            you will find that all that you have achieved will have been in vain.  Why?
                            Simply, because you would not have used this gift for the great; and the
                            great is to use your gift of education for the least among you.  This gesture
                            and posture will keep you in harmony with your inner sense of good and
                            with the universal sense of good.  Think about it.

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          Copyright © 1999 Drew University, Educational Opportunity Scholars Program