This week, at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, the School of Education held its 2015 Urban Education and Community Forum with the topic being ‘The role of universities in transforming communities’. The keynote speaker was Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III – the current president at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Hrabowski has given speeches at TED, been named top 10 best college presidents by TIME, and has “transformed a no-name, commuter university into a research institution recognized as one of the most innovative in the country.” according to The Washington Post. He has also been an education adviser for President Obama. His accomplishments are too long to list here but a quick Google search will give you tons of information.
When he took the stage, after a 10 minute introduction of his accomplishments, he said “You know, when it takes this long for your introduction you know it’s just because you’re really old!”. His perspective in education is fascinating and when he was finished speaking, an hour had already flown by. You can watch his TED speech which covers similar topics that were heard at UMKC. There truly is too much to write about Dr. Hrabowski and not enough space here. So to finish, his main focus was this: there are four pillars that go into making education successful.
1) A community with high expectations
2) Building community among the students
3) Researchers producing researchers
4) People who are willing as faculty to get involved with students, in and out of the classroom