The Spirit of Piedmont: An editorial reflection on the past, present and future

By FLETCHER DEAL

Staff Writer

In 1945, Piedmont’s chaplain wrote an article for The Owl attempting to analyze the meaning of Piedmont.

“What the exact charm of this school is no one quite knows. Is it a lovely setting in the hills? Yes, partially…Is it a little the spirit of battle against a large and blind world…which would turn its treads over the small college? Yes, partially.

“There’s something too good here to be given over to death. This college is the flowering of insight…that the small people of the land also want a chance at truth which may make you free…Whether they come from cities or from farms, Piedmont is giving to the children of the working folks, quiet, unassuming strong people who are the sinew of America, their chance at a wider vision of life,” said the article 

What is it about Piedmont that makes it so strong, so enduring?

It is us. We the students and faculty give this college everyday life. 

Through the decades the students, faculty and staff members before us have helped shape Piedmont from a patchwork of old hotels and businesses to the campus we have today.

Students and faculty like us have stepped up to create some of the things we take for granted today like the student newspaper, yearbook and many of the clubs around campus. 

Students and faculty have raised their voices in opposition to policies that they felt wrong or too old fashioned, but they have also worked with the administration to fix these problems.

Piedmont is our school. It is our home, our classmates, our brothers and sisters.

Take heed from the students that came before us. If you don’t like something, change it; at least ask for change to be made.

It’s how we built an athletic program. It’s how we developed a student life program. It’s how we’re able to dance. It’s why we have a comprehensive library. It’s why we were able to extend visitation hours.

As long as we’re mature about it, we can bring the winds of change to campus, but it takes all of us. 

We are Piedmont today, but tomorrow we will be history. A few years from now our names will be in a book. 

What will they say about us? Will they talk about us as a group of students and faculty who worked together to build Piedmont to something even better?

Or will we only be a footnote in that history as a decade stagnant with apathy peppered with low morality and disrespect? 

It’s up to us to become the former. It’s up to us to make the changes, or at least start the process of change.

We are going to shape Piedmont’s history, but it’s up to us today to decide how we are going to do that.