Journal of Contemporary Research in Education


This essay examines the powerful impact that higher education has on changing lives, communities, and the world; how it creates opportunities, inspires new ideas, spurs innovations, and is the great enabler that allows people to create better futures. The essay provides illustrative examples from the University of Mississippi across a broad spectrum of areas. First, the essay examines how higher education offers a range of opportunities from inspiring and challenging the most prepared students to providing an accessible and affordable education to all qualifying students. The essay then describes how a modern university’s vision transcends the intellectual development of students and assumes the role of being an agent of change in the greater community. This change takes many forms including healthcare, economic development, education outreach, community service, and entrepreneurship. It also describes the key role that higher education plays in bettering communities through the nurturing of diversity. Finally, the essay emphasizes the importance of continually striving to make learning environments greater and educating students — tomorrow’s leaders — to prosper in a global society. It concludes that one of the greatest callings in life is to make the lives of others better and that higher education is uniquely positioned to transform lives and communities — from across the street to across the globe.

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