CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – News around the death of Nelson Mandela brought the Campbellsville University family greater awareness through discussions of his life’s work among students, faculty and staff who have connections on that continent and/or have involvement in diversity work on campus.
By Linda Waggener, marketing and media relations coordinator
“Nelson Mandela was one of the first leaders in the developing world to demonstrate a multiethnic democracy could not only survive, but also thrive,” said Dr. DeWayne P. Frazier, CU associate vice president for academic affairs, “His intellect and powerful speeches helped bring him to prominence but it was his ability to show forgiveness and compassion that made him Nobel Peace Prize recipient.” Frazier served prior to his current position for several years as leader of Campbellsville University’s Center for International Education, working across all cultures.
“When Mandela spoke, everyone listened as he was truly a uniting force in the post-apartheid South Africa opening doors.” Frazier said. “I am still intrigued and touched by his quote dealing with education that touched my own life as a poor kid from rural Kentucky. ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’.
Frazier said that this is a quote he uses often in his own journeys around the world because Mandela’s insight into the world around us was unparalleled.
CU international students and faculty shared their thoughts:
Megan Charity from South Africa: “The day Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa he stood before two choices. One to revenge against the whites who have shown no mercies towards his people, or two, choose to forgive and love. That day he became an icon when he chose peace. He has changed the fate of our country and for that I am ever grateful. I hope the new generation of South Africans will comprehend and continue the legacy and example he lived for. We still have a long way to go but his death is a reminder of how far we have walked together as a nation.”
Sebastian Marot from South Africa: “Madiba (Mandela) was a great example to what the nation had to be like in order to succeed. Instead of going against one another, and seeing racial differences, he made understand that we need each other to build a strong community, a strong country.”
Alpha Rwirangira from Rwanda: “Nelson Mandela was like a father of African nations. His spirit will still shine. His spirit will still light for all Africans all south Africans everybody in the world. Everybody who knows the story of Mandela will always look at his light and shine. We will all follow his light and shine. I thank God for bringing Mandela into this world. I’m very young but growing up we learned about Mandela and have seen what he has done. So I’ll say ‘rest in peace Mandela,’ and we’ll try to do what he has done.”
Ugandan native Monica Kaisa Bamwine, CU director for graduate and professional enrollment management, and her daughter, 2008 CU alumnus Patricia Bamwine, paid close attention to news of Mandela’s passing. They recently lost their father and grandfather, respectively, Kaisa family patriarch, 95-year-old Mzee Kaisa, who was born in Africa in the same year and same month as Mandela and left this earth at the same age. According to his daughter, Kaisa lived and worked by many of the principles for which Mandela was famous.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.