Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Stephanie Quirk

Everyday I’m inspired by those around me. Wonderful students from all backgrounds eager to cultivate their leadership skills. I’m fortunate to be in a unique position to witness the struggles and triumphs of the learning process. They go beyond their classrooms to put their skills into practice through campus involvement. I see them working together to advance their missions and improve our communities. Each day they grow and one day their visions will lead our nation. On this 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address we celebrate Lincoln and reflect on his powerful words. The address reveals Lincoln’s leadership so beautifully. His mission of equality and unity and his vision of “a birth of new freedom” for our fledgling nation were both delivered with such humility. At the time of the Gettysburg Address Lincoln knew the importance of saving the union and the implications of its potential demise for our new democracy. He put forth the challenge of continuing the “unfinished work” of advancing equality but knew it could not sustain without the fulfillment of the vision of a nation where freedom could be extended to all. Today I’m thankful for those who continue Lincoln’s unfinished work of advancing equality and the welfare of our nation. I also think deeply of the importance of educating the next generation with the skills to continue the work. My mission is continue to support students in their journey to realize their own leadership potential. To continue to advocate for enriching co-curricular programs so all may have the opportunity to learn through experience. Leadership cannot be memorized from a book. Leadership can only be learned through living.