Editor’s Note: See Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s remarks at the Commons dedication.
U.S. Senator Casey Robert P. Casey Jr. called the dedication of the Arcadia University Commons a celebration, a dedication, and a reaffirmation—”a reaffirmation of our values, the value of higher education, the values that we hold dear as Americans, and we hope—and I think that we can be confident in—the values that we transmit across the world.”
The Senator referenced a courageous woman that he met in Afghanistan who had lost both her father and her husband to violence and yet who continued to serve in the government. He referenced Arcadia’s history of leadership in the world, where its women students were the first to return to study war-ravaged Europe after World War II. And he talked about educating graduates with the skills needed in Pennsylvania and in the United States to successfully compete in a global marketplace.
Excerpt of remarks by Sen. Casey on Jan. 23 at Arcadia University’s dedication:
Even in a place like Afghanistan, with all of the challenges that are being faced, not only by that government but by the people of Afghanistan, we can see the hope and the promise, a belief really in tomorrow. I was there in August…and in addition to meeting our troops and learning about what’s happening on the ground, one of the best meetings we had was with a group of women who are serving as parliamentarians in a country that we know does not often recognize or accept or even allow women to serve in government….
One of the women that I met there—Fawzia Kofi—she is part of the Afghan Parliament and head of the women’s affairs commission there. So when we meet women like that the world over, who because of their education, because of their commitment to service, and because of their belief not only in their country, but in their belief in the promise of tomorrow, we are ever inspired by that. And I know that students from Arcadia when they go to study abroad will meet people like that, who will help to educate them and advance their own education, but who will as well inspire them to do what’s necessary to be leaders here in the United States.
And when I consider the contribution that Arcadia students and this university are making the world over, I am heartened by that as well, encouraged and inspired by that. Arcadia’s commitment to international educational programs—75 cities, 22 countries, some of them displayed on the screen as I was coming in today—The College of Global Studies is the gold standard with regard to national and international education. And that reputation is known throughout the country and throughout the world. And I believe that the role that Arcadia students will play in the image of America today and in the future is very significant. That image that the world has of America is not simply built by a great administration…. that’s not the only group of Americans who will build that image around the world. It will be students like the students here at Arcadia who will play that role. And we’re going to need their help today more than ever, to go across the world, to learn, contribute and maybe most especially to learn to communicate.
We know that the strong record of academic achievement of Arcadia is grounded in a remarkable history….A group of young, enterprising Arcadia University women traveled across Europe in the wake of World War II to examine the economic impact of the war and the enormous needs of the population across the continent. The courage and spirit that drove these women stands as a testament and inspiration to Arcadia students of today and to all of us. The desire to explore, the curiosity to engage, and the determination to successfully compete in the global marketplace are indeed American values. We need to encourage that spirit in the constantly evolving and dynamic world if we’re to continue to thrive and to survive. Following in the footsteps of those remarkable women who traveled throughout war-torn Europe, Arcadia’s new generation of students have embarked on incredible journeys of their own around the world, and they’ve used that experience to be key drivers of the new economy.
Watch the ceremony at www.ustream.tv/
Casey is Pennsylvania’s senior United States Senator and currently serves on five Senate committees: Foreign Relations; Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Joint Economic Committee. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, which has jurisdiction over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel and the Middle East. He is a leader in promoting nuclear security and combating the threat posed by terrorists obtaining nuclear material.
In eight years as Pennsylvania Auditor General and two years as State Treasurer, Bob Casey compiled a record that focused on making government more accountable and responsive to the needs of Pennsylvanians. He has been a fiscal watchdog who made nursing homes safer, child care more affordable and government more accountable. He led the fight to reform Megan’s Law to better protect Pennsylvania communities and children.
Born and raised in Scranton, Penn., Casey is the eldest son of the late Governor Robert P. Casey and his wife, Ellen. Throughout his public career, he has been guided by the legacy of his father and the principle: “All public service is a trust, given in faith and accepted in honor.”
Photo of U.S. Sen. Casey by Pedro Leal ’13