Over the coming year, we will be looking for examples from our alumni that show creativity applied, or creativity at work. We want our alumni to tell us and our faculty — and thus our students — about case studies and stories in their profession or occupation that illustrate how creativity led to improvements in a system, an organization or a service. We want our students to realize that they need not be victimized by limited resources, reduced expectations or early career frustrations. Rather, we want them to be able draw upon a catalog of case studies, stories and examples in many different professions that show capable people applying creativity for the greater good.
We launched this alumni creativity initiative last Thursday, a beautiful summer evening I spent on the Cape with dozens of alumni and some of their friends and spouses. We were in the Chatham Bars Inn to chat about the importance of creativity (and innovation), as well as simply to catch up and take in the sea air. A number of people told stories describing how resource constraints and over-regulation in many occupations are making the need for creativity more important than ever.
In the large group discussion, then in subsequent conversations, alumni and friends offered examples of creativity, or the need for more of it, in a vast array of fields, from nursing, counseling and education, to construction, financial services and retail. Energized by the back-and-forth, participants promised to respond on our website and social media outlets and describe more case studies where creativity has become a core basic skill. (On social media, please use the hashtag #MyCreativity to help organize the discussion.)
Over this coming 2014-15 academic year, I’ll be visiting with Lesley alumni in more than 20 cities across the country. We’ll continue to ask you to tell us stories of creativity and to share your experiences on our website and social media channels, so we can share them with others.
We have had a successful alumni reunion on Cape Cod every summer since I began my presidency here in 2007. It is wonderful to get down to the Cape each July and visit with so many Cape alums who have become good friends for Lesley and for my wife, Beth, and me. I want to thank them for their engagement in this on such a spectacular evening. They got us started in this important initiative, and I am grateful for their contribution.
I look forward to seeing many more alumni over the coming months and reading your comments, stories and suggestions about creativity, as well, over this coming year. Happy summer!