In this age of the never-ending pitch, leaders are expected always to be ready to rattle off their organization’s signature strengths. As dean, I am often asked to do so.
In compiling a list of the School of Law’s strengths, it is tempting to take a mental walk through the building, looking in every corner for great achievements. There is much to see, of course–in this room, great teaching; in that one, enthusiastic and engaged learning; in here, an innovative skills training program; in there, a winning competition team diligently practicing.
These are all great strengths, yet this visual tour of the premises will not lead you to what is, in my judgment, the School of Law’s greatest strength. Indeed, you could wander the building all day and never lay eyes on it. That is because UB law’s greatest strength can’t be seen. With time, it can be sensed. Later, it can be keenly felt. Eventually it can become a tool and an asset, and finally a source of sustenance and comfort.
The strength to which I refer is community. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are bound to each other by powerful connections. These ties extend across time to embrace the most recent arrival and the most seasoned alum. They are forged from strong and lasting bonds of friendship, mutual respect, shared goals, and above all, the belief that the well being of all depends on the well being of each.
We invite you to join our community.
James A. Gardner