Nothing great in the world has been achieved by setting small goals. John Milton Gregory, Regent, recognized that at the Inauguration of the Illinois Industrial University in 1868:
"It is no ordinary work which we are set to do, and it comes to us under no ordinary circumstances. We are not here to reproduce, in this new locality, some old and well known style of college or university. The hungry eyes of toiling millions are turned, with mingled hope and fear, upon us, to see what new and better solution we can possibly offer of the great problems on which their well-being and destiny depend."
ORPR will make use of all of resources of the RST Department and expand the areas that it provides services to include tourism and sports sectors, in addition to the traditional recreation and parks sector. It will look beyond the State of Illinois and seek to address the challenges that are posed at a national and global level. It will be cognizant of the disparities experienced by different groups in our society, whether they be financial, ethic, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, educational, religious or political.
ORPR will generate excitement in what it does by being bold, innovative and challenging the status quo. Students, alumni, faculty will be part of the ORPR team that works together to complete its mission. By making ORPR a dynamic, global entity it will assist in attracting students to the RST program, alumni to partner with and support it, and faculty to funnel their research efforts through it.
Everything that ORPR does will be aimed at having a positive impact on communities and people. Taking the theory and research out of the labs and classrooms and applying them to the world outside of the university is the unique challenge that ORPR accepts.
The success of the ORPR will not be measured by the products it produces, or the projects it completes, it will be measured by the culture it develops, and the students it inspires. We need to have ORPR be a focal point that encapsulates how RST can provide service and benefits to the community and the world.