Ethics Bowl 2015

“No matter how this competition ends, we just won.”

This was the mutual agreement between our team advisor, Professor J.R. Hustwit and myself, after hearing the MU team’s argument in their contest against Wake Forest. This was part of the annual North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Ethics Bowl, recently held in Raleigh. The topic was “The Ethics of Diversity,” and the case centered around the importance of creating an economically diverse student body on a university campus.

Every university president wonders if his or her institution is investing in the right academic offerings, in the right educational methods, in the right extra-curricular activities, and in the right financial aid programs. Every news outlet in the country is asking if today’s higher education is worth the investment and if it is still relevant. The question is often posed, “What are the tangible outcomes after four years of university life?”

What we witnessed at the Ethics Bowl are the “intangible” outcomes of a quality, well-rounded, or what is sometimes called “liberal arts” education. I’m referring to problem solving skills, the ability to work as part of a team, the recognition of what is gained by working and living alongside those with very different backgrounds – all designed to prepare a graduate for the “real world.”

ethics smallWithout being prompted, the MU students cited their own university as a model institution for providing opportunities for all students, including those with modest resources and rich talents, to secure a quality education. In this environment, each student brings perspectives to the table that enrich the lives and experiences of his or her fellow students. So much is to be gained in a university setting through this exchange, rather than waiting until post-graduation. They went on to give their own team as an example, noting that they would not have had as transformational an experience on their Ethics Bowl team if not for the scholarship support that Methodist provides to ensure opportunities for bright and dedicated students from diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Wake Forest won the match by one point and went on to be the 2015 Ethics Bowl champion, but that took nothing away from our students’ presentation and their genuine belief that “Methodist gets it right.”

Is higher education worth the investment? Is Methodist University worth the investment? Let the students speak for themselves.

We have the best students in America. That’s why I have the Best Job in America.

In reflecting on their presentation, one student commented that at the end of the case she wanted to chant my favorite cheer, “We are … MU!”

Yes indeed … we are.

And it keeps getting better.

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Out of India

indiaWe could have been at any college fair in the country. Tables were set up with representatives from various colleges and universities, with students and their families stopping at the tables with questions about entrance requirements, financial aid, and specific academic programs and interests.

But we weren’t just anywhere. We were in New Delhi, India, at a university fair at the Fulbright House, featuring alumni from American institutions, and thanks to Nita Choudhury, our recent graduate who lives in New Delhi, the MU delegation was able to participate in the event.

Why was our delegation attending an Indian university fair?

At another stop, we could have been in the home of any of our students in the U.S. Parents welcomed us warmly and offered refreshments. We talked about their son’s experience and they expressed their gratitude for all that Methodist University has done to contribute to his success.

But we weren’t in the United States. We were in a modest, two-room home in a rural village in District Pune, near the UWC Mahindra campus in central India, visiting with the parents and brother of another recent MU graduate.

Why were we in this rural village?

We could have been at an American golf club, visiting with members and talking with prospective students interested in our PGA Golf Management program. They were impressed with the opportunities afforded to the students, including internships, placement assistance, and an unparalleled professional network to serve them for a lifetime.

But we weren’t in an American club. We were at the Bangalore Golf Club and those in attendance were truly impressed with our program and the fact that such a niche program exists in the U.S. where a student can follow her or his passion for golf while earning a University degree. Clearly this is a new and exciting possibility for promising Indian students.

Why were we at the Bangalore Golf Club?

We could have been at any fine restaurant in the States, enjoying a wonderful meal served on the terrace in the pleasant evening air, talking about our families, reflecting on the day’s events, celebrating a special occasion, and contemplating what lies ahead – all in the company of newfound friends.

We could have been having dinner in Fayetteville in July, having dinner on the patio in one of our many great restaurants.

But we weren’t in Fayetteville. We were in India, enjoying our last night with members of the Gupta family before heading home to North Carolina and Methodist University.

Why were we eating at this Indian restaurant?

Here’s why:

Our delegation, comprised of University officials and trustees, went on an 11-day journey to India to learn firsthand what opportunities exist for recruiting international students to attend Methodist as well as exchange and study abroad opportunities for Methodist University students and faculty.

We returned to the U.S. with much more than we expected. Yes, there is a great deal of interest by Indian students and their families in experiencing an American university education, and they are particularly interested in our “hand crafted” educational approach that is unique to American higher education and perfected at MU. And they are intrigued by our niche programs in professional management like golf and tennis, and in health sciences that are not readily available in India.

India is a vast country with many contrasts and a diverse population of more than one billion people known for their religious diversity and speaking many different dialects. It is also the world’s largest democracy, has one of the fastest growing economies, and is a close ally with the U.S. With its growth and strong relationship with our country, and due to the need for more higher education for its population, there are amazing opportunities for Methodist University to serve this need as well as gain international recruitment and study abroad initiatives that are consistent with our vision as an increasingly global university well positioned to meet the needs of our students in the 21st century.

What we also learned is that we have a great deal in common with the people of India. We share the same values, which include an opportunity to practice our faith and a commitment to peace and prosperity. We want the same things for our families and from our educational experiences. With so much in common, we have a wonderful opportunity to create relationships and ultimately partnerships that can bring our people and therefore our two countries closer together and preserve the quality of life in all its forms that we enjoy. Methodist University, as a part of its mission and vision, can facilitate the creation of these relationships that will ensure a promising future.

Why India? Why the U.S.? Because we must, we should, and we can. The Methodist University delegation learned a great deal from its journey to India. The journey for their students to our campus and community, and for our students to their communities, offers a wonderful pathway toward fulfilling our vision for globalization, emphasizing the power of peace and reconciliation that is critical to preserving a democratic society and the future of our two countries. In fact, a week from now, President Obama will be visiting New Delhi to serve as Chief Guest in the Republic Day Parade, symbolizing the strong relationship between our two countries and their citizens.

Methodist University gets it right, and I applaud the greater campus community and trustees for supporting this important venture. I can now say that I have the Best Job in the World!

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What’s Your Bandwidth?

If someone had asked me 20 years ago about a university’s bandwidth, I would have thought they were asking about the size of our marching band. Today, this question has a far different meaning, relating to the width of a range of frequencies or to the rate of data transfer. Internet connectivity and speed are big issues on college campuses.

bandwidthIncreasing a university’s bandwidth requires significant resources. Students enter college today with an average of seven electronic devices (after the holidays it may be as many as 10), each requiring a certain amount of capacity to receive and send data. Consequently, we are regularly changing and upgrading our infrastructure to improve the user’s experience. We are committed to “delivering the gold” with technology and we are making great progress in an ever-changing and increasingly demanding environment.

It is amazing how our vocabulary expands to embrace new terminology as our environment expands to embrace new technology. “Increasing your bandwidth” may also refer to the resources required to respond to a need. In other words, a university’s capacity to meet the needs of students. I guess in dealing with technology, it would be a university’s bandwidth to meet its bandwidth! Again, MU has expanded programs and facilities to maximize student potential. After all, that’s the definition of a university that will never go out of style.

Now I want to go back to my original definition. I am increasingly asked about the MU Marching Monarchs, our marching band, which is gaining recognition for their talent and gaining in size, or “band width.” Most recently, I was proud of these students as they represented Methodist in the Veterans Day Parade in Fayetteville. So, whether it’s our ability to transfer data or musical performance, we are about maximizing the capacity of our students to benefit from a Methodist University experience. And thanks to our donors and as a strategic priority of the University, we are assigning more resources to expand our band width.

It may be apparent to the reader that when it pertains to the modern definition of bandwidth this President is out of his comfort zone. However, you can rest assured that I understand the investment required to meet our students’ needs, technology and otherwise, and to continue to build an exceptional marching band. Bottom line, the best universities are about increasing students’ bandwidths, thus enabling them to get the most out of their experience. And no university does this better than Methodist.

What’s your bandwidth? I challenge our students and each of us to expand our definition with the times and in doing so, broaden our horizons. That’s the fundamental mission of our University.

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A Shared Vision for Methodist

This past week, I convened the first meeting of the 39-member Strategic Planning Committee. Comprised of representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the group is charged with developing a bold new Strategic Plan for 2015-2020, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval in February 2015.

 As early as the last academic year, we began campus-wide discussions about the future of the University. These roundtable meetings and other exchanges were designed to stimulate dialogue about the future of our University in anticipation of the completion of the current 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. These year-long discussions culminated with a special session held during the May 2014 Trustee Retreat, briefing the Trustees on key elements of the next strategic plan that had been identified by members of the University community, and asking Trustees for input in preparation for a year of planning for the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

In seeking suggestions from every constituency over the past year, a number of key principles began to emerge that will help guide us through the strategic planning process: 

  • Representation on the Strategic Planning Committee from across the University
  • Transparency in the planning process
  • Multiple opportunities for University community input through roundtable discussions, town hall meetings, interaction through social media, outreach to alumni, parents, and friends, and a request for vision statements from all members of the Community
  • Maintain our emphasis on a “culture of excellence” and stay the course with current Strategic Plan goals that are still relevant, while adding new quantifiable targets
  • In an environment of “continuous planning,” ensure a seamless as possible transition from the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan to the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan
  • Align plans with the strategic objectives of Board of Trustees
  • The new Strategic Plan should take advantage of various planning initiatives already under way
  • The goal should be to produce a succinct and relatively short document
  • The Strategic Plan and process should be aligned with the SACSCOC (our accreditation body) timetable for the upcoming 5th Year Review in 2015 and 10-Year Accreditation in 2020


“My Methodist”

 Given the fact that one of the guiding principles of the strategic planning process is to maximize participation by members of the University community, I would like to extend an invitation to every member of the community to submit a statement of 500 words or less, summarizing what you believe are the most important elements that we should incorporate into the next Strategic Plan. In essence, this invitation is intended to provide a statement of what Methodist means to each member of the community – now and as we move forward.

 Submitted statements will be shared with the members of the Strategic Planning Committee early in the process. Therefore, the deadline for statements to be submitted is Nov. 3. Those interested in participating, are encouraged to send them to me at as soon as possible to ensure full consideration by the Committee. I ask that you please include your name with your statement in order for it to be shared with the Committee.

 “We Want to Hear from You”

 Ever member of the Strategic Planning Committee shares my commitment to the strategic planning process being as open and participatory as possible. While we believe that we have many outstanding initiatives underway that should be continued in the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, we must remain open to new ideas and perspectives in shaping a bold vision that will ensure the University’s long-term viability and relevancy, while staying true to our mission.

 Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions – now and throughout the strategic planning process. I look forward to hearing from you and, together, making Methodist University the best University it can be. Through this process and with your help, the best is yet to be.

 I will continue to share updates on this new exciting Strategic Plan as it evolves in the coming weeks.

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Thanks for Taking a Chance on Me

Every student has a story.

Earlier this week the First Lady and I hosted a group of students in our home for a picnic supper on our front lawn. As is customary after a student dinner, I like to ask students what is on their minds – what they like about MU, what concerns they have, or just general observations about campus life.

At this particular dinner, the comments started with concerns about expanding Wi-Fi on campus, increasing the hours at Starbucks in the Berns Center, improved lighting in dark spots behind buildings, and more trash cans. They then went on to express their appreciation for more food options in the dining hall, landscape improvements, increased collaboration among University organizations, and excitement about all that is happening on campus.

Then one particular student raised her hand and quietly expressed her appreciation for the University “taking a chance on me.” She went on to say that there are students at Methodist who may have not necessarily performed as well as they should have in high school or achieved the best test scores, but nonetheless have promise. In essence, on behalf of all the students at Methodist who might have been considered “at risk” when they were accepted, she was expressing her thanks.

This was perhaps the most gratifying comment a student could have shared with this particular president, as I responded by saying that I, too, had enrolled at my university with the same sense of gratitude for that institution taking a chance on me, and for my family and friends believing in me. I also noted that Methodist University’s mission is to provide such opportunities to prospective students, and the history of this place is one of “taking chances” on students who come with difficulties but show promise. Once enrolled, MU is committed to working with them to ensure their success in overcoming their unique hurdles.

Every student and, indeed, every person has a story. I feel very blessed to be president of a University that takes the time to listen to these stories and embraces students where they are and helps them succeed on their MU journey and life’s journey.

That’s the Methodist way. That’s the only way.

Ben Hancock


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Best Year Ever

This week marks the beginning of the new academic year at Methodist University, and the first thought that comes to mind is that this will be our Best Year Ever.

There are so many ways to define “best” for a university campus, and in a society that freely uses superfluous rankings and descriptions, one could easily dismiss this claim as yet another example of a strategy to gain attention.

So let me share a few reasons why I believe this is without question an exceptional year:

Highest Freshman Enrollment Ever. We expect a record number of new students this fall with great geographic diversity, representing most of the 50 states and over 55 countries.

Highest Total Enrollment Ever. There is every indication that we will have a record overall enrollment, exceeding last year’s record of 2,478 students.

New Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program. We have received approval for our first doctoral program, thus continuing to meet the needs of our local health care partners and prospective students interested in entering the health care field.

New Health Sciences Building. We will be breaking ground this fall on yet another new  building. It will be a stunning facility located near the entrance to campus and adjacent to our nationally-recognized Physician Assistant Program’s facilities.

Community Appearance Award. Methodist University will receive an award this week from the City of Fayetteville’s Joint Appearance Commission for its improvements along Ramsey Street that have helped enhance the City’s and University’s appearance. We will make further improvements this fall, including new banners and signs at the campus entrance.

Best Tennis Facility. Methodist University was recently recognized by the American Sports Builders Association and will receive an award for the Gene Clayton Tennis Center as a winner in the Outdoor Tennis category. The University continues to invest in the quality of its facilities as a part of its new Master Plan and commit to providing the very best facilities for teaching, learning, competition, recreation, and the arts.

More Campus Improvements. Additional landscaping, repaving of parking lots, new fitness equipment, improvements in the Berns Center, and new furnishings in the residence halls are just a few of the other improvements that will greet students and guests who come to the campus this fall.

Best Athletic Program. Methodist is proud of its strong athletic tradition and is celebrating its selection as the best athletic program in the USA South Athletic Conference, having won the 2013-14 President’s Cup in the Overall standings. Among our fall sports, those teams coming off of conference championships include Men’s Soccer and Football. Our MU Cheer Squad also returns with a national championship earned this past year.

Best Financial Position Ever. With another balanced budget for the past year and recent renewal of our BBB bond rating from Fitch, we are excited about the University’s strong financial position which sends a message to our community and donors that we are an exceptional institution.

Most Successful Campaign Ever. With two years remaining in our Building Excellence Campaign, at the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year, we had reached the $27.5 million mark in our capital campaign. This surpasses the highest amount ever raised in any Methodist University campaign. We are so appreciative of the many contributors and volunteers who have made this fund-raising effort so successful.

Best in Technology. The University has made major improvements in technology over the summer. We are now a “wireless campus” that serves all of the University buildings, and have created a number of areas across the campus that showcase our use of technology, including the Library, residence halls, and academic buildings.

Unequaled Transformational Experiences. What better way to demonstrate our commitment to preparing our students for successful careers and lives of meaning and purpose than to provide them with transformational experiences while they are still at Methodist? As we partner with area businesses and organizations, we offer an unmatched opportunity for each and every student to be involved in an internship or community engagement experience that will give them the “competitive edge” in securing employment after graduation or being admitted into the nation’s best graduate and professional schools.  Our Career Services Office has recently expanded its staff to include a coordinator of internships, and they will be rolling out a new and expanded internship program. Our goal is for EVERY MU student to have the opportunity for an internship before graduating. And there’s more. Through the MU Journey, students can study abroad, conduct research, participate in leadership programs, and be part of a community engagement team. What awesome opportunities!

Best Faculty and Staff Ever. What would a University be without exceptional people? With the new appointments we have made to the faculty and staff who have joined our ranks, we believe this is by far the best group ever assembled on the campus. We are so proud of their accomplishments and commitment to our students. Time and time again, I am told by alumni that what they appreciated most about their Methodist University education was the caring attitude of their professors, coaches, and mentors who were committed to their success.

With this being the Best Year Ever for Methodist University, is there any wonder why I frequently say that I have the Best Job in America? I invite you to come to campus for the first time, or if you haven’t been to MU in a while, please return for a visit. You will be truly amazed at the growth of our University and how it is transforming students’ lives every day in so many different ways.  Join us for one of the many lectures, athletic contests, concerts, and other events on campus. You’ll quickly discover and then agree, that this may indeed be our Best Year Ever. And the Best is Yet to Be!

Ben Hancock

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The Importance of Place

I took my usual early morning walk around the campus today, and I was struck by how much quieter, how much emptier the campus feels during the summer when so many of our students are away for summer employment, internships, and other experiences. I couldn’t help but think about many college campuses today that are like this year round, as they have embraced an alternative to the residential campus or even the standard classroom experience, having invested heavily in online or distance learning.

Some institutions have been very successful with this form of educational delivery (at least in terms of the number of students enrolled), and Methodist is indeed investing in the latest technology and learning strategies to complement classroom experiences with online learning opportunities. But how different we would be if this was the core of our existence and we abandoned our more traditional classroom delivery in favor of distance learning. This is because Methodist believes fundamentally in “the importance of place.”

During a normal class day, I walk across the campus and greet students as they move from one place to another. Would that nursing student have the same opportunity if not for this place?  Would that football player be able to be a member of the Monarchs online? Would that PGM student develop her game in the same way if she didn’t have “Down Back” and our wonderful facilities? Would that SGA senator be involved in a leadership activity in a different environment? Methodist University has continued to grow because of niche offerings that have become signature programs. Our health sciences programs, NCAA Division III sports, professional management programs, and student organizations are just four examples of those successes. Without the “portal” that MU presents to prospective students, they might not be here or on any other university campus for that matter.

David Brooks of the New York Times, a skeptic of online learning, believes that college students need to find a home for character building. He also believes that faith-based institutions (like Methodist) are generally more involved in shaping character and force students to deal with moral dilemmas and values. He goes on to note that the culture of a university is what affects students and makes them who they are. Could this be done online? One of the fundamental missions of Methodist University is to prepare students to live lives of meaning and purpose.  We think we can do this best by spending time with faculty, staff and fellow students on the campus, especially given our vibrant campus ministry program with all of its options and the MU Journey which encourages engagement in the community, leadership opportunities, undergraduate research, and study abroad. Each of these experiences is maximized by interacting with others in a shared space.

This blog post is not intended to bash the many wonderful benefits of technology, including its role on a university campus. This includes Methodist where we recently moved to make the entire main campus (other than athletic fields) wireless, expanded the bandwidth to increase speed of access to technology, and provided additional resources and staffing to serve our students.  We are also investing in technology to enhance the classroom learning experience, made possible, in part, through a Title III grant that has supported instructional technology. And finally, we are launching a new initiative this fall to expand our online capabilities to assist our students with degree completion. But these investments and initiatives are meant to complement our place-based education and to enable students who face special challenges to pursue a hybrid model that will make it possible for them to earn an MU degree.

Methodist University is about place. More important, it is about people who call this place home.  It is about a “culture of excellence,” which is comprised of signature people, programs, and facilities. And as I have said many times before, without signature people, the other two wouldn’t matter. Without signature people, place wouldn’t matter.

Methodist University is so blessed to have this place and signature people who care. That is why, at this “place-based university,” the “Best Is Yet to Be.”

Ben Hancock

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Methodist University’s Year in Review: “Excellence Redefined”

14190971763_2d447afec8As we wrap up another successful academic year at Methodist University, we congratulate the Class of 2014, our largest class of undergraduate and graduate students in the university’s history. We were honored to have members of the first graduating class in attendance as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1964 with 17 of the 43 original class members on campus to participate in the hooding ceremony.

Throughout the year, we are committed to a “culture of excellence” at the University in everything we do. Let me share just a few highlights that have helped “redefine excellence” for everyone associated with Methodist and have set the stage for a bright future as we move forward:

- In addition to a record enrollment (2,478), we experienced a record number of residential students (nearly 1,100) and international students (150 from 55 different countries).

- The graduation of the first cohort of students from our new Nursing Program and the Master of Education program.

- Progress on our first doctoral program in Physical Therapy and the receipt of a naming gift from the Thomas R. and Elizabeth E. McLean Foundation for our new Health Sciences Building.

- New majors in Entrepreneurship and Applied Forensic Science and further development of our Cyber Security and Digital Forensics program, thus responding to increased interest in these areas by prospective students and employers. This demonstrates Methodist’s continued commitment to creating and expanding academic programs to meet demands from current and potential stakeholders.

- The opening of the newly renovated Library and expanded Trustees Building.

- A spectacular Igneous Expressions glass exhibit and Picasso ceramics show in the David McCune International Art Gallery.

- Holding the third annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium, featuring student’s research projects, and the addition this year of a graduate and faculty component to the program.

- Winning the USA South Athletic Conference Overall and Men’s President’s Cups after winning conference championships in football, men’s soccer, and women’s tennis along with strong seasons in our other sports. Women’s tennis and women’s and men’s golf also qualified for the NCAA national championship competition.

- Kicking off our $35 million Building Excellence Campaign with over $25 million raised. This would not have been possible without the generosity of so many individuals and organizations who believe in the mission of our University.

- Hosting Dr. Sanjay Gupta as the inaugural speaker in the Presidential Speaker Series.

There have been so many memorable moments this year at Methodist, but none surpass the expressions I saw on the faces of the graduates and their sponsors as they crossed the stage at Commencement to be hooded and receive their diplomas. The true measure of excellence at a University should be the success of its students, beginning with their undergraduate experience, followed by earning their degrees and embarking on their chosen careers or graduate school. The expressions that day conveyed a mixture of pride, accomplishment, sadness in leaving MU, and excitement about what lies ahead. These are the ones who will go on to “redefine excellence” in the next leg of their journey, fully equipped to do so, thanks to their MU Journey.

Indeed, I have the Best Job in America, as our University meets America’s needs while raising the bar on excellence. Record enrollment, record graduates, and record financial support confirm we are getting it right where it matters the most—providing transformational experiences and preparing tomorrow’s leaders.

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Where else?

Where else will you find opportunities for students across six disciplines to participate in a simulation of a disaster, giving them experience that will prepare them for their internships and clinical experiences, and ultimately making them very competitive for professional positions?

Last Saturday, the Office of Planning and Evaluation, funded through a Title III grant, brought together more than 100 students together to address different elements of an accident through a disaster simulation drill. Students in our Physician Assistant (PA) program, Nursing, Justice Studies, Forensic Science, Environmental Management, and Athletic Training programs participated. By doing so, they collaborate with professionals through an integrated exercise that required a team approach to problem solving.

disaster simWhy are such simulated experiences important? With each experience, students become more familiar with their proposed discipline, they learn to minimize risks, and they are ready to assume more responsibility. They also become skilled problem solvers who will be assets to any team.

Let me share just one example of why these experiences are so transformative and should be considered “best practices” for all educational institutions. Shortly after the accident, the “victims” were transported to the simulation hospital in the Nursing Building, where they were joined by high-tech manikins, providing multiple scenarios for teams of PA and nursing students. The scene was similar to a real-life hospital emergency room, with 10 simultaneous stations in operation. While the students worked on their “patients,” the entire exercise was being taped for debriefing afterward in order to maximize learning through the experience.

The scenes for the other teams of students were equally compelling, and they acted like professionals dealing with a situation, followed by a debriefing with faculty to enhance future outcomes.

When we designed the Nursing Building that opened a little over a year ago, it was with such integrated experiences in mind. These same features and capabilities are being built into our planned Health Sciences Building that will be constructed during the 2014-15 year. Such an approach is about more than state-of-the-art facilities. It is about preparing and graduating state-of-the-art professionals across disciplines.

How do we define “Culture of Excellence?” Simulation, collaboration, integration. Where can you find this? Where else but at Methodist University.

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Building Excellence

It’s not about the money. A university fund-raising campaign never should be.

Last week, Methodist University launched the most ambitious capital campaign in the institution’s history. The long-anticipated “Building Excellence: The Campaign for Methodist University” will generate $35 million for new facilities, endowment, and special projects. More than $23.4 million, or 66 percent of the goal, has already been received from generous donors who are committed to ensuring excellence.

campaign blog

The real story, however, is the transformational experiences that will be possible for every Methodist student as a result of these funds. A culture of excellence requires signature people, programs, and facilities, so we will be putting philanthropy to work through endowed scholarships, professorships, and new buildings to support programs.

I hope every member of the University community will join us in celebrating our heritage and the exciting plans for the future by attending one of the many “Building Excellence” events scheduled during the twenty-eight months of the public phase of the campaign. We will be traveling across the country and indeed around the world sharing news about the University and inviting people to participate in our bold journey.

Please view the Methodist University website for more information and news about the campaign, or feel free to write to me personally at to share your story with me. This is truly an amazing place, and through your engagement in the life of the University, our students will directly benefit.

There has never been a better time to be a Monarch. “Building Excellence” has never been more relevant or critical. Your support has never been more needed.

I have the Best Job in America because of these amazing students and their stories of commitment, sacrifice, and dedication. I feel truly blessed to be president of our University at this time in our history. We need to be successful with this Campaign to ensure our students success. We have a promise to fulfill – a promise we make to every entering student that we will do all we can to maximize their university experience and prepare them to live lives of meaning and purpose.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the students. It has always been that way, and always should be.


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