Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, President of Seton Hall University, Delivers 18th Annual Borromean Lecture
St. Charles Preparatory School;October 28, 2019; The Robert C. Walter Student Commons
Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, President of Seton Hall University, delivered the 2019 Borromean Lecture in the school’s Robert C. Walter Student Commons on Tuesday, October 28th. The speaker series, in its 18th year, has established a forum at St. Charles to annually attract to campus a speaker of national renown on the topics of morals and ethics in society, business and government.
Dr. Nyre made his remarks at a noon luncheon in front of more than 800 people, including members of the student body, faculty and administration, as well as more than 100 guest representing leaders in the business, education, non-profit, political and Church communities around Central Ohio.
Dr. Nyre said that as college students, they will be defined on how they show up how then become engaged. He offered them this advice: when they arrive on campus, they should choose their friends wisely and avoid being grouped into a statistic. Be the ‘outlier’ — someone who stands out from the norm and can’t be grouped easily.
“As a psychologist, as a researcher and a university president, I look for outliers. Do not become, by default, a member of some readily identifiable group or generation. Don’t let yourself be pigeon-holed…and don’t pigeon-hole yourself. Be the outlier.”
No matter what college they attend, he said, they are bound to find “self-righteous groups that will define their principles and those of the people who disagree with them as black/white, as absolutely right or absolutely wrong. In the real world however, things are rarely so stark. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, it is actually possible that both sides of an argument to make sense,” he said. The challenge can be deciding which of two is the better one.
Dr. Nyre noted the loud political climate we find ourselves in today. He noted that social and political progress in America’s history has most often come, not when one side has completely defeated the other, “but when opposing sides finally balance a point between them.” In effect both sides coming to the understanding that “the other guy has a good point too.”
“So by asking you to be an outlier, I’m asking you to bring excellence to the college dialogue,” Nyre encouraged. “Join the debates, but do so without resorting to ‘identity politics.’ Look for the balance of points. When others refuse to listen, the outlier leans in close and hears what others have to say. When people disagree, the outlier is the one who stands up to their principles without being overly disagreeable. The one who leads by example.”
To read a much-expanded version of this event and Dr. Nyre’s comments, we invite you to click HERE.
(Photo, below, from left) St. Charles Principal Jim Lower with guest speaker Dr. Joseph Nyre and Mrs. Jan Dilenschneider (She and her husband, Robert Dilenschneider ’61, are the initiators of the lecture series.).
(Photo, above) Overview of the Walter Student Commons