Rutgers president addresses crowd at Grape Expectations
MONROE TOWNSHIP — Recently installed Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway addressed the annual Grape Expectations symposium here at Forsgate Country Club on March 5, sharing his vision for Rutgers as a “beloved community.”
Holloway was the first Rutgers president to speak in 38 years that Dr. Gary Pavlis and others on his team have organized the annual gathering, aimed at Garden State winery owners and managers.
“I love being at a university where it’s all about lifelong learning, not only in classrooms, but outside of the classrooms.”
“Just in the 20 minutes that I’ve been here, I’ve already met several people who talked about the great work that Rutgers has done in helping them get off the ground in learning about different aspects of viticulture. That’s exciting to know that Rutgers has been such a big part of the community.”
He commended all the agricultural Extension service agents on hand and said it’s nice to be able to say “in service to the community and the state,” but to be able to do those things, in all 21 counties, on a daily basis is a whole different mission, one which Rutgers personnel are involved with every day.
“Rutgers is a big complex place, so I said, ‘We’re going to try to make Rutgers less complicated, and we’re going to continue to be a place that is in pursuit of academic excellence as well as a beloved community.”
“In a community of 100,000 people, how do you build a beloved community? This does not mean that it is a place where we all get along all the time and where we agree on everything; that would be a very boring community. But a beloved community means we are a place where we wrestle with ideas and where we welcome new ideas and we protect and cherish all ideas. You put these things next to each other and work it out, and it’s a place where we know we’re going to disagree with one another but the most important thing is that we also know we share something in common, and once we recognize we share something in common the nature of the disagreements…it’s going to be quite different. It’ll be constructive disagreement.”
Holloway said the annual symposium is a good example — people from all kinds of different backgrounds coming together with a common passion: wine.
“I’m coming here because this event embodies one of the propositions of my presidency: Rutgers is going to be a beloved community. We are going to find ways to identify a shared passion, a shared interest from our various perspectives, whether it’s a start-up or a larger operation, and we’re all going to help each other and learn from each other. And together, we’re going to make each other better.”