Spring 2018 Issue

Learning from the past

Shaping the future

By Noah Peterson '19

Dr. James Patton, the first African-American professor at the School of Education, opened the March 15 “Learning from the Past to Shape the Future” discussion with a word and a gift. The word was Sankofa, from the Twi language in Ghana, meaning “Go back and fetch it,” that is, remember the past in order to go forward. His gift symbolized the word: a wooden statue of a bird, moving forward while looking back. The discussion was part of a panel of esteemed alumni and former faculty, and was held in conjunction with the 50th annniversary of African-Americans in residence. The program focused on the personal and academic experiences of the panelists in the larger context of equity and inclusion at William & Mary and in higher education as a whole.