Office of the President
Message from President Michael T. Benson
Times of Reflection
April 6, 2023
Dear Coastal Carolina Community,
As we enter the last few weeks of this academic year—and with a special weekend just a few days away—I wanted to share a brief thought with you.
This week marks a moment in time which only happens every 30 years or so. Three of the most significant events for the world’s 3 largest monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam— are being celebrated right now and in the coming days: Passover, Easter, and Ramadan.
It is at times such as this that one must stop and reflect on the beauty of the cultural and religious tapestry all around us. In a world which is growing ever more shrill and divisive, I hope these moments to gather and associate will bring us closer as we recognize this historic, albeit very brief, moment with friends, families, loved ones, and even strangers.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences,” wrote the famed Audre Lorde.
I find my own life has been immeasurably blessed by friendships with people much different than I who held their own faith, beliefs, feelings, and opinions as firmly as I do. The impact of these relationships is something I cherish daily as I try to chart my own path, never forgetting the lessons learned from different friends and colleagues. Our campus is blessed by students, faculty, and staff of many different faiths and belief systems. This is one of the many things that makes Coastal Carolina University so special and so welcoming.
What you chose to believe is entirely up to you. But the true measure of an individual, I believe, is allowing others the freedom and latitude to chart their own path based on their own beliefs and values. May this unique moment in time give us a chance to pause, take stock of our own lives, and vow to “recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences” all around us.