Centre president addresses Danville Rotary

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Rotarians gathered in a tranquil pastoral setting on the anniversary of 9-11

The Sept. 11 meeting was the first public gathering of Danville Rotary since COVID-19 changed all of our lives. The meeting was hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Chuck Keiser in their rural home. Lunch was catered by Southern Plate Café. The speaker was Centre College’s recently installed 21st president, Dr. Milton C. Moreland.

Centre is ranked among America’s leading institutions by Forbes, Princeton Review, U.S. News, and virtually all other guidebooks. A 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that professors will know each student by name, not as a number. Centre’s international study options broaden students’ perspectives and give each of them a competitive advantage in the global economy. Centre’s students get a broad education with an emphasis on learning to think critically, and nearly all of them graduate in four years.  

The class of 2018 graduates’ outcomes in the year following graduation (most recent available) are helpful indicators of the value of a Centre College degree.                                                                         

  • 97% had a successful outcome 
  • 68% were employed
  • 27% were enrolled in graduate schools 
  • 2% were still seeking employment 
  • 1% took a year off 

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2018 graduates’ employment by industry was: 17% international; 11% financial services; 10% education; 10% technology; 10% non-profit; 7% healthcare; 7% science/research; 6% business; 5% government/law; 4% arts; 3% environment.

Dr. Moreland began his new position as president of Centre College as COVID-19 began changing all of our lives. His intention was to ease into his new role by pondering how best to support his passion for purpose-driven education. Instead, he was faced with navigating the significant challenges that have devastated the health and well-being of millions, crippled nations’ economies, and exacerbated already simmering tensions along the lines of race, ethnicity, and other identities. Not just of the global pandemic, but also the sustained protests against racial injustice that have spread beyond the streets of U.S. cities to all corners of the earth.   

Under his guidance, Dr. Moreland wants students to be broadly trained, he wants them to have classes in the arts, he wants most to work with professional researchers, publishers, and the faculty to publish in the sciences. For many, their professional life will certainly involve digital technology and the physical sciences. The experiences Centre provides them will help them get jobs within a year of graduation, and be prepared for the jobs of the future that cannot be imagined at this point.

“The faculty and I want to be able to say ‘yes to good ideas’…work with our students to help them think about what we would call an entrepreneurial mindset. Our students need to be agile thinkers about being relevant to their professions and their communities. Today a focus on purpose and meaning in education is more necessary than any time in the recent past. I am a firm believer in the notion that learning should be devoted to causes and purposes well beyond our own particular interests and desires. Centre can and must play an important role in being a force for good and help heal those that seek to undermine our health as individuals and as a nation,” Dr. Moreland said.     

Those experiences have made him appreciate the interconnected and dedicated support network made up of Centre alumni, students, families, faculty, staff, and the many “friends of the College.” He intends to continue the great relationship between Centre and the greater local community. New initiatives he wants to implement put more emphasis on providing support to grow the local economy, and motivate graduates to consider returning to the seven-county area in which Centre is located.