One of my “guiding principles” that has served me well over the years is “there is no limit to what one can accomplish if he (or she) doesn’t care who gets the credit.” This is particularly true of MU’s Board of Trustees, who have devoted so much energy and resources to this institution over its more than five decades of existence. While the president of the University is the “public head” of the University, there are over thirty trustees behind the scenes who have given unselfishly to make us who we are today.
These “servant leaders” are most notably embodied by the Board chair, and for the past four years, we have benefitted from the wise and faithful service of Harvey Wright. He has led the way for trustee participation in the Strategic Plan, Campus Master Plan, Loyalty Day campaigns, and the search for a new president. As he steps down this week, we all owe him much gratitude for his service, and I am particularly grateful for his thoughtful and insightful advice as I stepped into the presidency at Methodist.
Now Methodist enters a new era of trustee leadership, as Dr. Mary Lynn Bryan becomes our new chair. Dr. Bryan brings so much experience into this position and a genuine love of our University—an amazing combination that will enable us to continue to take Methodist to the next level. In her role as vice chair, I have never seen someone devote so much time to her role due to her commitment to MU and because she has taken her anticipated role of chair so seriously. We welcome her as the new chair this week and pledge ourselves to ensuring her success.
Those who have heard me speak know I love to speak about “signature people,” and one might wonder if the word “signature” is sometimes overused. I don’t worry about this issue, as there are so many wonderful people associated with this University who are worthy of this designation. Simply put, there is no better word to describe their selfless service and commitment to our “culture of excellence.”
As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s founding this week and thus recognize all who have made this country what it is today, I hope we can also take a few moments to think of this University’s founders and present leadership that make Methodist what it is today.
It is no wonder that I have the best job in America, as I have the best trustees in America and live in the best nation in the world.
Have a wonderful 4th of July,