"This is a University that seeks to be a global presence, to make a difference in this world."
A priority of Moeser's since his first days as chancellor, the expansion of UNC's international presence is one of his most important and advantageous goals for the University.
UNC-system President Molly Broad also spoke at the reception, emphasizing the need for UNC "to function and compete in a multi-ethnic, global community."
The reception, at which UNC awarded Lagos an honorary law degree, demonstrated one aspect of the University's commitment to maintaining a worldwide network of what Moeser called members of the Carolina community.
Aside from keeping up with other universities, Lagos explained in his speech why it is important for UNC to seek the kind of international presence that Moeser and Broad advocate.
"It is up to us to be able to change the world," Lagos said. "The academic community is essential."
His speech focused on what he called the "rough coalition that is fighting terrorism," applauding international efforts to help the United States combat terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11. "These are not attacks against the United States, these are attacks against humanity," he said. "Terrorism is a global concern. It requires a global solution."
But Lagos was concerned, as we should be, with more than the terrorism that destroys buildings. "Growth, democracy and social justice are intrinsically connected," he said. "One cannot be achieved without the other two."
UNC students and University officials should work for worldwide expansion of those three goals, as well as for the strengthening and development of the "rough coalition" so that it can someday combat other forms of terror ranging from poverty and hunger to oppression and injustice. Lagos, who argued for that goal, said universities and the academic community will play an essential role in seeking such changes in the world if it is to be achieved.