Laurie Carter, the 17th president of Shippensburg University, will be inaugurated this week, and to accompany her inauguration, she has been spreading kindness across the Shippensburg community.
Kindness is one of Carter’s personal core values, and it is also an SU value. At the first inauguration committee meeting, Bertie Landes, a retired SU field hockey coach, came up with the idea of a kindness campaign. The idea then turned into the 17 days of kindness campaign, according to Carter.
“We’re going through a period of change, and change is hard for anyone,” she said. “As long as we’re always treating one another with respect and being kind in how we approach change, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but it certainly makes it more palatable.”
Carter said she has felt a sense of positive energy on campus, but she always feels that way. She has seen the kindness spreading. For instance, Greek life organizations have created 17 service projects. Other student organizations and faculty members have also been spreading kindness in their own ways.
The 17 days of kindness kicked off with a flash mob on the football field on March 29, and has continued with other events such as a food drive.
In accordance with the food drive, SU will allow students to donate four items to the food drive on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in order to have one of their parking tickets forgiven. Items include: plastic jars of peanut butter, fruit preserves and spaghetti sauce; whole wheat spaghetti noodles; cans of tuna; boxed cheerios; protein bars and apple sauce. Students should drop off the items at the SU police station and bring their ticket or student ID.
The idea was proposed by a student who sent Carter an email.
“That’s the wonderful thing about this campaign and everything we’re doing. It’s not just my idea. There are ideas from all over the community, and if it’s a good idea, we’re gonna give it a shot,” Carter said.
The week leading up to the inauguration will be filled with more acts of kindness and many events that honor SU. Events include a faculty reception and a cookie and ice cream social.
Carter believes the inauguration is not about her — but about the community. The theme of her inauguration is “make waves.” Carter said this is because waves take us places, carry us to new heights and break down barriers.
“Those are all the things we need to do as a community to move forward,” Carter said.
The inauguration will be held on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center.
“This is really a celebration of our past, our present and our future,” Carter said.