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Be Community. Be Orange.

Posted March 19th, 2014 by grahamwe

Submitted by: Elizabeth Graham-Williams

At Oregon State University (OSU), to Be Orange is an honor, a reflection of school values, and a privilege. At a school where “Powered by Orange” is a phrase used and seen almost daily on campus, there are certain values and expectations that go hand in hand with ‘being orange.’ As I began to explore the concept of ‘being orange’ I was surprised at the many values and interpretations that this simple phrase encompassed.

OSU president, Ed Ray, defines Orange through his strategic plan, using the key values to guide us along the path to our final destination in life. He highlights accountability, diversity, integrity, respect and social responsibility as key components in the OSU educational process, and to be successful beyond. President Ray and the OSU community emphasize the importance of ‘being Orange’ not just at OSU but throughout our lives after college. For example, at OSU we practice diversity in order to improve and foster “our ability to welcome, respect, and interact with other people.” Our ability to work well with other people, as we learn at OSU, is an element of ‘Orange’ that we carry for the rest of our lives. ‘Being Orange’ is not about a color or school pride, it is the community, practices and skillset that each student gains and makes them successful for the rest of their lives; that is what ‘being Orange’ is all about.

Taking into consideration the university values and my own personal experiences at OSU, I think that ‘being orange’ encompasses President Ray’s ideals to create a community that promotes leadership and growth both personally and academically. When talking with several of my close friends about values and experiences they have learned and had at OSU, one thing everyone spoke about was the community setting here. To Be Orange, for example, is to be active in your college and university setting because it promotes growth academically but also promotes leadership and communication, both key ethical values that OSU promotes. At OSU, every individual is part of a community; fellow students and faculty are here to support everyone as we grow academically, socially and personally. These are the individuals that will shape the person you become after you leave OSU.

Personally, when I look at OSU and the phrase ‘be orange,’ I think of growth. It is the ethical responsibility of this university to educate its students and prepare them for their respective fields. When I look back at my four years at OSU, I think of where I began and how far I have come today. To me that growth is what makes me a part of the ‘orange’ community. My growth academically, socially, and personally continues to surprise me. The academic knowledge, social connections, and personal confidence that I have gained at OSU to me represent the concept of ‘being orange.’

To ‘be orange’ may vary from person to person, but the core values are the same for everyone. Just as President Ray said of his strategic plan, being orange is a “map of the foreseeable landscape, with some speculation about what’s beyond the horizon.” ‘Being orange’ provides the students the values and skills needed for life, and it provides the community, support and leadership necessary to face what is beyond the horizon.

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One Response to “Be Community. Be Orange.”

  1. bulloccl Says:

    I am glad to hear that you are growing as a person from your time here at OSU. I hope that you will be able to use the skills that you are developing here later in life. The amount of growing that happens when we are in college is quite amazing I would have to agree.

    I am also glad to hear that you have been able to mature and become a better person, not only smarter from OSU.

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