East Tennessee State University Profile



History . . . 

Situated in Northeast Tennessee, East Tennessee State University is a state-supported, coeducational institution and one of the principal campuses governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.  Its main campus is located in Johnson City with a center in Elizabethton and sites in Kingsport, Bristol and Greeneville. Chartered in 1909 as East Tennessee State Normal School, the institution experienced several name changes before achieving university status in 1963.  East Tennessee State Normal School, which opened in 1911, became East Tennessee State Teachers College in 1925; five years later, the name was changed to State Teachers College, Johnson City.  Beginning in 1943, the institution was known as East Tennessee State College for 20 years.  Today, ETSU is a multifaceted university offering two-year, four-year and graduate programs of study through nine colleges and schools:  College of Applied Science and Technology; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business; College of Education; James H. Quillen College of Medicine; College of Nursing; College of Public and Allied Health; School of Continuing Studies; and School of Graduate Studies. 

The James H. Quillen College of Medicine, one of three state-supported medical colleges in Tennessee, offers a program leading to the M.D. degree as well as accredited residency programs in family practice, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery.   Accelerated residency programs in family practice and internal medicine are also offered. Created by the Tennessee legislature in 1974, the College of Medicine enrolled its first class of 24 students in 1978, awarded the first M.D. degrees four years later and as of June 2003 will have awarded 1,158 M.D. degrees.  In 1988, this college combined with the colleges of Nursing and Public and Allied Health to form a Division of Health Sciences. 

Student Population . . . 

ETSU has a student population of over 11,000, including undergraduate, graduate, medical students and medical residents.  While the majority of students are from Tennessee and the surrounding southeastern region, typically over 40 states and over 60 foreign countries are also represented.  Housing for nearly 2,500 students is available in residence halls, apartments, efficiency apartments and married student housing. 

Academic Overview. . . 

Committed to the needs of all its students -- from those who have emerging potential for university-level coursework to the gifted -- ETSU provides all citizens in the region opportunities to continue lifelong learning.  The University offers more than 100 degree programs organized within the areas of arts and sciences, business, education, health sciences and services and technology.  All programs and degrees are offered during the regular day schedule and extensive evening programs are also provided.  Some 5,000 -- 10,000 persons are served annually through continuing education and extended service programs. 

The University seeks to serve as a center for intellectual and cultural growth as it nurtures an educational environment that respects individuality and stimulates creativity.  To earn a bachelor's degree, a student must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit, consisting of coursework from the major field of study, the minor field of study (if required) and the general education core requirements.  The University's General Education Program includes two parts.  Part I is a Core Curriculum of 41 -- 44 semester credit hours that address specific academic "Proficiencies" and "Areas of Familiarity."  Part II is specific Requirements Reinforcing Academic Proficiency and requires students to complete during college a minimum number of courses that reinforce academic proficiency by providing intensive experiences in writing, communicating orally and using information technology. Advanced standing credit is accepted and recorded as "passed hours" of credit toward graduation through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (APP) Program of the College Board, the Proficiency Examination Program (PEP) in nursing, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. 

A career counseling service and an advisement center provide professional guidance for students who have not reached a decision concerning a college major.  Developmental courses are offered for students who lack a sufficient level of proficiency, as determined from ACT or SAT scores and/or an evaluation assessment examination. 

An Army ROTC program, available through the Department of Military Science, provides scholarship opportunities and offers advanced courses that may result in a commission. 

Athletics . . . 

ETSU sponsors 17 intercollegiate sports and participates at the NCAA Division I level in all sports (Football is I-AA).  The University is a member of the Southern Conference, the nation’s oldest athletic conference.  Men’s sports include: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field.  Women’s sports include: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball. 

Calendar . . . 

East Tennessee State University operates on a semester calendar consisting of a fall semester in which classes begin in late August and semester examinations are completed prior to the Christmas holidays; a spring semester in which classes begin in early January and semester examinations are completed during the first week of May; pre-summer, a three-week intensive study term beginning in mid-May; and two five-week summer sessions, one beginning in early June and the other beginning in mid-July. 

The Faculty . . . 

Including the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the University has 664 full-time faculty members.   The percentage of faculty members holding terminal degrees is approximately 75%.  The average class size is 20, which allows the faculty to give students individual instruction and attention and to share interests and expertise.   Entering students are required to meet with faculty advisers prior to registration for classes.  Advisement is conducted primarily through a one-on-one interview. 

Support Facilities . . . 

ETSU provides a wide range of computer, network, telecommunications and software resources in support of instruction, administration and public service. 

Microsoft Windows-based servers support the main ETSU campus, Bristol, Kingsport and Greeneville Centers. Individual accounts for Email and Internet use are generated for all enrolled students, guaranteeing every student has the access they need to compete in an increasingly technology-oriented collegiate and research environment.  Students have available to them over 200 state-of-the-art Microsoft Windows XP based workstations in six labs that have a common user environment. 

The administrative systems utilize a cluster of Alpha computers under the VMS operating system.  Several Windows 2000 servers supplement this system.  Registration for classes is now predominately done online through the ETSU GoldLink Online system.  Linked with this system is a Payment Gateway NT server, which enables students to pay tuition and fees online using a credit card. 

The campus has benefited from an infusion of technology facilities and services from the technology access fee paid by each student.  Recent improvements include the replacement of computers in student labs on a three-year cycle, upgrading the campus and dorm network and construction of multimedia classrooms. 

The main PC lab is located in the D.P. Culp Center with additional labs in Sam Wilson 124 and 129, Gilbreath 105, Rogers Stout, as well as the Bristol, Kingsport, and Greeneville Centers.  The Culp Center computer lab is a dedicated open lab, but the others may be scheduled for classes.  In addition, there are more than 20 additional departmental labs spread throughout the campus that support both the standard Microsoft software packages and discipline-specific software packages.  These departmental labs support both the PC and Macintosh platforms.   

At the heart of the campus network is a high-speed asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and gigabit Ethernet based backbone that can accommodate voice, video and data transmission.  The ETSU campus is extensively networked with over 12,000 network connections.  All classrooms and offices are connected through this backbone to each other and the world through the Internet via the State of Tennessee network, TNII (Tennessee Information Infrastructure).  Students residing on campus are connected to the Internet via MountaiNet, a dedicated high-speed campus residence hall ISP.  The aggregate Internet bandwidth has increased from 9mbps to 18 mbps within the past year. 

A total of twenty multimedia classrooms, including the four in the College of Medicine, serve the students by providing high-tech but easy-to-use instructional technologies so faculty can help the students better visualize the materials being taught.  Computers, a document camera, a SmartBoard and a projector augment the normal audio-visual equipment in an integrated system.  In addition, several multimedia classrooms also have power and network connection for each student.  The number of multimedia classrooms is expected to increase over the few two years. 

The Sherrod Library contains the major learning resources that support the University's programs of teaching and research.  With a seating capacity for 1,800 readers, the library contains over half a million volumes, over one million microforms, 2,065 periodical subscriptions and more than 350,000 federal and state documents and maps.  The Media Center contains the University's collection of audio-visual resources; in-house listening and viewing facilities are provided. 

The University's Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, an accomplished Center of Excellence in Tennessee, is a hub of scholarly, educational, community service and artistic activities addressing the needs and interests of the Appalachian region.  The Center has three divisions: the Regional Resources Institute, the Reece Museum, one of only twelve accredited museums in Tennessee, which houses several permanent collections and presents a varied schedule of exhibits, and the Archives of Appalachia, which contains the most significant collection of materials about the Appalachian region in the country.  The Center publishes Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, sponsors the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Program and the Appalachian, Scottish and Irish Studies program, and hosts the Governor's School for Tennessee Heritage each summer.  The Center is also responsible for the region’s only comprehensive reference work, the Encyclopedia of Appalachia.   

The D.M. Brown Hall science building and the Quillen College of Medicine provide extensive research laboratory and training facilities.  Among other facilities of interest are Slocumb Galleries, which enables students and others to view works of past and contemporary artists, while allowing art students to display their own works; the Hutcheson Hall Planetarium, which annually attracts hundreds of visitors to campus; the Gilbreath Hall Theater, a restored early-century theater; and an outdoor amphitheater, originally constructed by the WPA and restored to its original beauty.

The D.P. Culp University Center is one of the most modern student centers in the nation.  The specific purpose of the center is to serve the students as an integral part of their educational and recreational life.  The Culp Center provides a wide variety of services, entertainment and social and recreational activities for the campus community.  In addition to recreational facilities, the Culp Center houses five separate food service areas, bookstore, post office, a theater/auditorium, computer lab, ballroom, meeting rooms and conference facilities.  The Culp Center is open from 8 a.m. – 1 a.m., Monday – Thursday; 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday. 

ETSU has a campus ID system and debit account.  This card acts as the student’s passport to all types of benefits and services on campus.  Not only will it serve as an official photo ID, but it also gains the student access to their residence hall, Sherrod Library, athletic events, campus activities and check cashing.  Another feature of the ID card is a debit account (ID BUC$).  A debit account works much like a checking account.  As the debit card is used, the amount spent is deducted from the student’s account.  This option gives the student a safe, fast convenient alternative to carrying cash every day at no cost.  The debit card may be used at the Cave, Buc Mart, Atrium Food Court, Main Meal Cafeteria, Café Biblio, Tree House Snack Bar, University Bookstore, University Press copy convenience center, laundry facilities (residence halls), Bursar’s Office (tuition, lab cards, housing, parking fees, phone bills, etc.), health clinic, library, craft shop and vending machines across campus.  To obtain an ID card or make a deposit to the ID BUC$ account, come by the ID Services Office located on the second floor of the Culp Center, or go to the web site at http://www.etsu.edu/students/univcent/id.htm .  For more information, call (423) 439-8316. 

The Center for Student Life and Leadership brings new and exciting learning opportunities for students through involvement in such programs and activities as student organizations, Greek Life, service-learning, and leadership education. The mission of the Center for Student Life and Leadership is to educate through programs, services, advisement, and other experiences necessary to the growth of students and their development of social awareness and civic responsibility.  Involvement in campus life validates and reinforces the learning experiences of students and positions them as future civic and professional leaders. ETSU expects students to actively participate in its learning community and seek out and engage in meaningful activities. Through these experiences students will enrich their understanding of life, the workplace and society. In addition, they apply their knowledge to real world situations and develop and enhance their personal skills, abilities and attributes. Campus involvement is an excellent way to make lasting friendships and add some fun to your learning! There are over 150 registered student organizations at East Tennessee State University. Sororities, fraternities, religious organizations, academic groups and honor societies, sports clubs, governing councils, and service organizations make up the broad range of campus involvement. Each year 1000+ students reach out to the community through ETSU’s nationally recognized service-learning program. Outside of class, ETSU students contribute over 50,000 hours of community service each year.  

For students over 23 years old and/or are commuting, the Center for Adult Programs and Services (CAPS) helps prospective students figure out how to get into ETSU – no matter how long it’s been since they were last in school, assists transfer students with the transfer process and guides current students with resources to assist in their college success.  Here are a few of the programs and services available for you at CAPS.  Prior to each fall term a special program is held for all incoming adults and transfer students.  This Adult Student Kickoff program provides students with a tour of where their classes are located and special seminars in the library and computer labs so that adults will get off to the best possible start at ETSU.  Adult Advantage is a cohort program designed for first time college students.  Participants attend normal university classes together for a fall and spring semester with built-in “study buddies” and lots of academic and moral support. OASIS – Once Again Students In School is the adult student organization at ETSU.  Advisory and social in nature (movies, dinners out, excursions), the group meets at 7am the first Wednesday of each month during the fall and spring terms.  When people want to know, “what do the adult students think about this issue?” they come to OASIS meetings to find out. Commuter students can get carpool applications, maps of the campus, shuttle and city bus schedules, information about living off-campus, childcare information and much more. Zeta Tau is the ETSU chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national adult student honor society. These are just a few of the programs and opportunities available for adult and commuter students at ETSU.   

The Department of Campus Recreation is responsible for providing the entire ETSU community with recreational facilities, programs and services. All activities are open to ETSU students, faculty and staff persons, plus in selected instances, their families. There are five types of programs: fitness, intramurals, non-credit instruction, outdoor-adventure and sports clubs. During the spring semester 2002, Campus Recreation moved to its new Center for Physical Activity – a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor recreational sports complex funded with student fee dollars. Indoor space includes an aerobics/martial arts studio, child care room, climbing wall, gymnasium floor (with soccer court), huge weight room, indoor track, personal training suite, pool, seminar rooms and a host of other areas. Outside the CPA are two lighted ball fields for intramurals and sports clubs. Also adjacent to the building is the Basler Challenge Course – one of the region’s most complete high and low element adventure education facilities. Programs range from climbing instruction to self-esteem enhancement to team building. 

Career Placement and Internship Services assists students and alumni to make the transition from the university, through services and employer partnerships, to the world of work or into graduate school locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The office offers, at no cost, career and job search services and the opportunity to gain experience through cooperative education internships. Our internships provide a student a salary, academic credit and the chance to gain valuable employment contacts. Through Blue and Gold Answers, we list current job opportunities, provide job placement assistance through our Computer Job Matching Program and offer a series of job fairs and employment preparation seminars serving over 300 recruiters and over 3,000 students annually.  

The Office of Student Publications houses the East Tennessean, the student-run newspaper, which is published twice weekly during the academic year. The mission of Student Publications, through its student newspaper, is to provide education and training for students who are preparing for careers in journalism and the publishing industry, to provide a forum for students, faculty, and staff to express their views, and to disseminate information to the university community. A staff of approximately 20-30 students are responsible for generating the editorial and advertising content of the East Tennessean, which has a circulation of 6,000 copies per issue. Students write and edit stories, take photographs, sell and design ads, design and layout the paper, operate the Web site (www.easttennessean.com), and deliver the paper. The paper is distributed to approximately 30 locations on the main campus in Johnson City, and at ETSU’s satellite campuses in Kingsport, Bristol, Elizabethton and Greeneville. The newspaper is funded by student activity fees and advertising revenue. 

Beyond the Campus Setting . . . 

ETSU is a member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), a consortium of six universities that operates a 0.9-m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. Astronomers at the six participating universities have retrofitted the 1950s vintage telescope with robotic controls that allow them to use it from their local campuses, providing an unprecedented means for state-of-the-art research and instruction.  Other members of the consortium include the Florida Institute of Technology,  University of Georgia, Valdosta State University, Florida International University and Clemson University. 

The Office of International Programs encourages ETSU students’ participation in study abroad programs; promotes matriculation and support services for international students; and facilitates exchange of faculty and research scholars.  The office coordinates bilateral and multilateral exchange agreements with universities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (P.R.), Denmark, Ecuador, England, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Sweden.  The Office of International Programs also administers the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and the National Student Exchange (NSE).  All these programs allow ETSU students an opportunity to study either abroad or at another institution in the United States at a cost comparable to that of attending ETSU.  The Office of International Programs administers a faculty travel fund in support of research and teaching abroad especially, but not exclusively, at our exchange universities. 

The Director of the Office of International Programs is the official ETSU Fulbright representative and the National Security Education Program representative.  The National Security Education Program provides resources to encourage graduate undergraduate students to study overseas and add an international dimension to their studies by studying geographic areas and languages.  The Office of International Programs houses a library of current material relating to opportunities for both faculty and students to teach, study and do research abroad.  As well as the academic and technical dimensions of its activity, the Office of International Programs provides the support facilities for ensuring that students both here and abroad succeed culturally, socially and emotionally.  ETSU’s international students and scholars represent more than fifty countries from which our community benefits. 

The University's Cooperative Education Program gives students in most major fields of study an opportunity to alternate work periods and classes on a semester-in/semester-out system.  Through cooperative education, in addition to gaining valuable work experience and employment connections, students may help to finance educational costs and earn college credit. 

The University has cross-enrollment agreements, available to full-time ETSU students, with nearby Milligan College and Emmanuel School of Religion.  The University is also a participant in the Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market. 

Requirements for Admission . . . 

Students seeking admission as first-time freshmen must present a minimum composite ACT score of 19 or a comparable SAT combined score or must earn a minimum high school GPA of 2.3 (on a 4.0 scale).  Tennesseans who graduate from public high schools must successfully complete the Tennessee Competency Test.  Assessment evaluation examinations to determine levels of proficiency are required for entering freshmen who present ACT composite, English, or math scores lower than 19.  Freshman applicants must meet specific high school course requirements, including 4 units of English, 1 unit of visual and/or performing arts, 2 units of algebra I and II, 1 unit of geometry, 2 units of natural/physical sciences, 1 unit of social studies, 1 unit of U.S. history and 2 units of a single foreign language. Transfer applicants must offer satisfactory academic records from degree granting institutions. Transfer admission requirements are consistent with the University's retention standards.

Financial Aid Information . . .

Nearly seventy percent of the University's students receive federal, state and private sources of financial aid.  Four general types of assistance are available: scholarships, grants, student employment and loan programs.   Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or use the paper application available at high school guidance offices, college financial aid offices or by calling 1-800-4FED-AID (433-3243).  Additional information is available at the University's financial aid website, http://www.etsu.edu/finaid/financial.htm.  The FAFSA must be completed each year, as soon as possible after January 1.  The University's Office of Financial Aid can be contacted directly at 423-439-4300; 800-704-ETSU (3878); or via e-mail at finaid@mail.etsu.edu . 

About the Johnson City Area . . . 

Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol are part of the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area -- the nation's first “All American City” region and also 84th largest MSA with a population exceeding 462,300.  Tri-Cities MSA consists of Carter, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties, and Scott and Washington counties in Virginia.  Additional counties in ETSU’s service area include Greene, Johnson, Hamblen, Hancock, Cocke, Sevier and Jefferson.  Johnson City, a progressive city with a population of over 57,000, is located close to the state lines of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Recreational opportunities abound, including boating, skiing (snow and water), white water rafting, fishing, jogging, climbing and hiking.  Interstate highways 181 and 81 provide access to the area by automobile.  The Tri-Cities Regional Airport provides access by commercial airlines. 

The University Complex . . . 

ETSU's main campus in Johnson City consists of 366 acres and 63 academic and administrative buildings including a $28 million Sherrod Library and the $259,000 Harry D. Powell Astronomy Observatory. The new multi-million dollar Center for Physical Activity promotes campus-wide wellness.  The Scott M. Niswonger Digital Media Center, dedicated in 2001 in Johnson City’s Millennium Park, houses the noted three-dimensional design graphics/computer animation digital media program.  The university opened the ETSU Innovation Laboratory in October 2002, and it incorporates a business incubator for biotechnology and entrepreneurship, and is the new home for the Tennessee Small Business Development Center.  Adjacent to the campus is the 247-acre James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the 75-acre Johnson City Medical Center and Woodridge Hospital, consisting of five acres. On the VA grounds, ETSU conducts its medical programs using the facilities available in six buildings, including the hospital complex. The University's Palma L. Robinson Clinical Education Center is located on a seven-acre plot of land on nearby State of Franklin Road.  This $6 million, 67,755-square-foot ambulatory care facility houses some 72 examination and 21 special diagnostic rooms as the center provides outpatient services in surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics.  Faculty from all units of the Division of Health Sciences are involved in teaching and training at the center, which also offers consultation rooms, conference rooms and a large classroom.  ETSU's new $36 million Basic Sciences building, Stanton-Gerber Hall, is located on the VA grounds and is a state-federal medical construction partnership. 

The University operates sites in Kingsport, Bristol and Greeneville along with the Nave Center in Elizabethton.  

ETSU/UT at Kingsport, 1501 University Boulevard, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate courses each semester, including courses leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees in business.  Courses are offered during the days, evenings and on weekends.  Facilities on the 100-acre site include a full-service library; computer, chemistry and biology labs; gymnasium; student center; mini-market bookstore; and distance education classrooms.  Student services include academic advisement; financial aid and career counseling; tutoring; COMPASS testing; and registration and fee payment.  Services are offered at convenient times for both traditional and nontraditional students.  ETSU/UT at Kingsport shares its facility in partnerships with both the University of Tennessee and Northeast State Technical Community College. 

ETSU at Bristol offers a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate courses with flexible schedules including day, evening and weekend choices.  Located at 1227 Volunteer Parkway, Executive Park Plaza, Bristol, TN, the facility includes a computer lab; fiber-optics televised classes, in addition to live ones; a student lounge; library with electronic access; and a bookstore.  Student support services include admission; registration and fee payment with assistance; academic advisement; career counseling; financial aid information; and I.D. production.  Students can choose from several undergraduate majors such as management, education, criminal justice, general studies (BGS) and RN to BSN nursing.  They can transfer AAS community college degrees to earn a bachelor in applied science (BAS), or they can pursue an on-line Regents degree, supplementing their internet courses with classes taught at the Bristol Center.  Graduate degrees, some in cohorts, include MBA, Masters in Communication, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) and two Masters in Education choices.  Basic general education core classes, plus upper level classes in various additional majors are also available. 

Working cooperatively with Walters State Community College, ETSU at Greeneville offers junior, senior and graduate level courses from selected academic disciplines to the residents of the Greeneville area each semester.  Both day and evening courses are delivered through ETSU’s distance education program and the traditional classroom setting.  A state-of-the-art computer lab provides ETSU library and Internet access to Greeneville students.  Located in the Greeneville-Greene County Center for Higher Education at 215 North College Street, this site represents sharing of facilities between two Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and enhanced access to opportunities for advanced education and lifelong learning.  ETSU and Walters State have an articulation agreement that improves student transfer between the community college and the university.  ETSU at Greeneville is also the home of the Tennessee Institute for Economic Development. 

The Marshall T. Nave Center in Elizabethton houses ETSU's programs in the health related professions, including allied health, radiological technology, medical laboratory technology, dental laboratory technology, cardiopulmonary science, dental assisting and respiratory technician. 

ETSU benefits from strong affiliations with major hospitals in the region: Johnson City Medical Center; James H, Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home; Wellmont-Holston Valley Hospital and Medical Center at Kingsport; Wellmont-Bristol Regional Medical Center, Tennessee-Virginia; and Woodridge Hospital in Johnson City. 

Alumni . . . 

More than 72,900 people have graduated from ETSU since 1911.  Many recipients of undergraduate degrees return to pursue graduate studies.  Some 40,600 of ETSU's alumni reside within a 100-mile radius of the university while over 39,400 live in the State of Tennessee alone.  The overall alumni gender breakout is 48% male, 52% female. 

Cultural Diversity . . . 

The guiding principle in all we do and say at East Tennessee State University must be respect for the individual.  Through our teaching, research and public service, we must affirm the fundamental human values of courage, honor, pride, compassion, tolerance and understanding.  These values transcend time and place.  They transcend technology.  They rise above educational trends.  They are the enduring principles that must be observed in order for the human race to flourish. 

ETSU commits itself to creating and perpetuating an environment in which diversity of people and thought is respected.  We embrace the belief that differences should be celebrated and we believe that intolerance poses the single most dangerous threat to the continued existence of the race. 

Our aspiration is to create a university that fully appreciates the culture and the history of its surrounding region while it seeks to understand and accept the practices, beliefs and customs of the greater global community. 

It is ETSU's role not only to teach and to train but to inspire those among us as we build on our individual differences to achieve a common appreciation of our humanity.