December 6, 2013
I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Nelson Mandela yesterday. Mandela embodied all the attributes of an extraordinary, transformative leader who changed the course of history, not only in South Africa but around the world. His deeds of courage, his humanity and his clarity of principle and vision are examples to all of us as we seek to advance freedom and equality.
For the last 30 years I have taught and written about leadership. Inevitably, I have always included Nelson Mandela as the exemplar of a true leader – someone who inspires people to stand up for what they believe in with absolute courage and conviction.
But for the people of South Africa, Mandela was more than a leader. He was the father of a nation who seemed to have an inexhaustible capacity for sacrifice and forgiveness. Mandela may be gone, but his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who continue to work for the good of South Africa.
Tulane is working alongside them. Through the Tulane International Office in Durban, the study abroad program in Cape Town and the commitment of Tulane Peace Corps volunteers and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine students, plus numerous other Tulane-led efforts, we stand with our brothers and sisters in building a new South Africa and in mourning the loss of their father.
Have a great weekend,