This email was sent by President Matthews to the Eastern Community in October 2021. 

Dear Eastern Community,

As I mentioned last month, in order to help familiarize ourselves with our new Core Values, we’re going to focus on one of our values each month. You’ll remember that each of our core values corresponds to a letter in our name. You can read descriptions on this webpage. Last month we looked at E - Excellence. This month we’re looking at A - Authenticity.

We’ve defined Authenticity this way:

In 2 Corinthians 1:12, the apostle Paul shares, “Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” 

What a kind and generous gift we’ve been given as recipients of God’s grace. Grace can be shared and can inform all that we do here at Eastern, promoting “realness” and courageous compassion in our interactions with others.

An incredible example of Authenticity and the power it holds within our Eastern community is Ameera Sullivan MA ’14, CAGS ’16. Ameera’s story was recently highlighted in EASTERN magazine’s Spring 2020 edition. 

Reflecting on her own experience growing up in an unstable home, living in foster care, and becoming a young teenage mother, Ameera shares how her life journey has led her to be an authentic, effective, and impactful school counselor for her students at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia. Ameera’s transparency and authenticity shapes her work and relationships – she stands out as an exemplary school counselor within the School District of Philadelphia.

Watch a Video of Ameera’s Story

Authenticity involves using every circumstance, every gifting, every strength, and every weakness to honor God and serve others through our lives, relationships, and work. Whether you’re a student, a professor, a staff member, an alumni member, or a friend of Eastern, I invite you to reflect on these questions below throughout the month of October. (Perhaps consider using these for discussion at team or group meetings!)

October Reflection Questions: A - Authenticity

  • Am I Authentic?
  • Have I observed Authenticity around me?
  • How can my Authenticity contribute to the benefit of others? 

I’m praying for us as we explore Authenticity and its implications this month. Thank you for energizing each other toward a truly authentic community. Have a great month!

With appreciation, 


Ron Matthews,

President, Eastern University

P.S. Core Values Cards: We still have some extra core values cards in the President’s Office if you don’t have one yet and would like one. Feel free to place the card on your wall or near your desk to help familiarize yourself with these values. (You can also download and print it here.)