Author  President Susan Rounds

The fall semester at DRBU has officially started, and it is wonderful to see the building full of students passing through on their way to their first classes! We are happy to be welcoming five new BA students, eight new MA students, and five Translation Certificate students as they begin their DRBU journey.

One of my favorite things about the beginning of the year at DRBU is participating in the sharing circle that opens the orientation week. This year, new students, faculty, and staff sat socially distanced in our beautiful courtyard, shaded by trees and strategically placed canopies, and responded to the question, “What brought you to DRBU?” Every year when I participate in this ritual, I notice some common themes in the responses, coming both from the students and from faculty and staff members.

One theme is a deep sense of returning and belonging. “I felt like I was coming home.” “As soon as I stepped on to the grounds, I knew that I was home, even though I had never been here before.” “I had a sense of deep connections from the past.” “This place feels like home.”
That profound sense of familiarity was reinforced by a variety of experiences during orientation week as we all got to know each other better. How wonderful to find ourselves in a community that nurtures and supports cooperation, empathy, and compassion!

Another recurring theme is the search for a deeper meaning and purpose. “I had so many questions about my life. What was I doing? Where was I going?” “I saw so much suffering in the world. Why? And what could I do?” People come to DRBU because they are compelled to ask these difficult and searching questions. They want to feel a deep sense of purpose and to engage in the important work of self-discovery and transformation. And they want to be doing this work with other people who also take this work seriously, recognizing that it is the only human endeavor that can truly change the world.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of the community where this important work is being done, and I look forward to the opportunities and discoveries that await us all this year.