University of Charleston President Ed Welch wants his students to investigate issues before forming strong beliefs.
This principle was reinforced for him during a trip to Israel last week.
"It is important to underscore how critical and necessary it is for all of us to probe beyond surface opinions to understand the culture, history and values out of which ideas emerge," Welch said.
Welch was one of a dozen university presidents to make the journey to Israel, but he was the lone wolf from the East Coast.
Daniel Kutner, Israeli consul general to the United States, invited Welch to make the trip. The two men met last year when Kutner spoke at UC for the university's lecture series on the Middle East.
This was not Welch's first visit to Israel, but he experienced many firsts during last week's excursion.
Aside from making some stops that he has made in the past, including Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, Welch witnessed a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip. The rocket did not hit any people or buildings in Israel, he said.
"We didn't have any fear, but something like that changes your world view," Welch said.
He also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where it is believed Jesus was buried and resurrected. Today, a "bomb box," which is designed to minimize the blast from a bomb, sits outside the landmark, Welch said.
Aside from taking in the sites and observing some of the turmoil that the country is still going through, Welch also met Moshe Arad, the former ambassador to the United States.
Arad talked to the group mostly about the Arab Spring that has swept through the Middle East since last year when uprisings began in Tunisia and Egypt.