Get To Know Dr. Hancock

As part of his unofficial welcome packet, we included a list of questions we thought would paint a picture of Dr. Hancock’s personality. Below you will find our questions and his responses.  Sure Dr. Hancock is the new kid on the block, but he needs to get to know some of us here at MU as well.  After reading his answers, chime in and give us some of yours!

Book that changed my life and why: The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono.  I truly subscribe to the notion that “a good book reads you,” and such is the case here.  It illustrates the difference one person can make in totally transforming the landscape – of an environment as well as humanity.

Person in history I would like to meet and why: Thomas Jefferson.  Having grown up in Virginia and studied about Jefferson throughout grade school and ultimately earning my doctorate from the University of Virginia, I have always been impressed with this Renaissance man’s grasp of so many areas and the impact he had not only in history, but also in education, architecture and horticulture.  It would have been interesting to know how he went about planning his life and setting his priorities, and ultimately becoming such a wonderful model for civic engagement.

The one thing I’m most proud of in my life: My family – their many accomplishments and the love they share for one another.

If I had unlimited dollars for a week, how would I spend it? I would use the funds to establish a scholarship program to enable promising students to earn a college education at Methodist University.  They would be required to not only maintain a satisfactory academic record, but also demonstrate some kind of engagement in the community.

The most daring or dangerous thing I have ever done: Bungee jumping with two of my sons in New Zealand.

The three top things on my bucket list: Run the London marathon, cruise around the world, own and restore a 1952 Chevy truck.

Which bad habit would I get rid of? My children would say that I need to throw away all of my black mock turtlenecks, as they are my favorite thing to wear along with comfortable pair of jeans.  But my choice would be to give up desserts, especially given the number of nice meals I will need to eat in my role as president.

Which actor should play me in the story of my life? Tom Hanks. Tom has those “Everyman” qualities.  He mostly plays roles of an ordinary person who is thrust into challenging situations, and because of his persistence, passion, sense of humor and hard work, seems to always land on his feet and succeed.  More than once, he has also been willing to reinvent himself in order to achieve his goals.

What’s your favorite movie and why? “It’s a Wonderful Life”. This movie has it all.  Embedded in Jimmy Stewart’s character, it demonstrates the importance of putting family and others first, the power of prayer, the importance of believing and never losing hope, and the promise of happy endings if you work hard and want something bad enough.

Which world problem would I solve and why? Global access to a quality education.  Simply put, education is the solution, or at least provides the tools to address every one of the world’s major challenges.  Through knowledge, we can solve health issues, problems in multicultural communications, political unrest, and famine. Furthermore, education is the fundamental prerequisite for civic engagement that leads to the creation and preservation of democratic institutions.

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11 Responses to Get To Know Dr. Hancock

  1. Patrick O'Rourke says:

    Welcome President Hancock!

    We are so glad you are here! It really is refreshing to see how you have embraced social media, even from day -1. Many blessings for all the wonderful work you have ahead.

    Patrick

  2. Patrick O'Rourke says:

    Book that changed my life and why: Two books have changed my life: 1.) Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. It is truly a miracle when one can embrace forgiveness at this level. 2.) The Power of Now by Eckert Tolle. Living in the present enables one to truly live life and accept the present.
    Person in history I would like to meet and why: W. Clement Stone. His take on success and prosperity have proven the test of time.
    The one thing I’m most proud of in my life: My two daughters: Crystal Rose, a primary school teacher, and Amber Elizabeth, an artist.
    If I had unlimited dollars for a week, how would I spend it? I would establish a charitable foundation whose mission is: “To assist individuals in finding, living, and being supported in living their true purpose.”
    The most daring or dangerous thing I have ever done: Land an airplane at night at an airfield with no lights.
    The three top things on my bucket list: I have pretty much completed my bucket list…thus, each and every day is a great day to live…or if God so chooses…a great day to die!
    Which bad habit would I get rid of? Continuing to mitigate my habit of being a workaholic and continuing to find balance in all areas of my life.
    What’s your favorite movie and why? The Sound of Music because life should be lived like a musical and miracles should be expected!
    Which world problem would I solve and why? I would solve the problem encountered by many young people who choose a profession largely due to the income it will provide, or because “that’s what mom or dad does/did and/or encouraged me to do.” Instead, I would help them to live their true purpose, from their heart, and to understand and trust that the money will follow.

    • Ben Hancock says:

      Thanks Patrick, for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to working with you and the other members of the Methodist community.

      Ben Hancock

  3. Rev. Dr. Jerry A. Jackson says:

    I agree with the movie, ” It Is a Wonderful Life” The real Jimmy Stewart does come out and shows to each of us what life is all about. Especially with friends who lives we touch every day. When you try to lasso the moon, you open your life for dreams that turn in to hopes that turn in to reality. The small broken pieces like a knob on the railing is just a move in the same direction you head. A great movie that is lifted up at MU. A dream that turned in a hope that turned in a reality. Welcome Dr. Hancock to the Methodist University Family!

    • Ben Hancock says:

      Jerry, thanks so much for your thoughts. Your comments about the movie were much better articulated than mine! I look forward to seeing you soon.

      Ben

  4. Frank Trapp says:

    Dr. Hancock, welcome to Methodist University. I share your passion for family. I too am most proud of my family and the relationship I have with my children and my large extended family. This past Thanksgiving, I attended a family reunion in Chester, Va with 42 other people with the Trapp name extending from 4 of my father’s 11 aunts and uncles. I have 12 aunts and uncles from my mother’s side. You share a passion with my daughter. She has found several 1950ish trucks she would like on her 16th birthday. I recently sold a 1950 Chevy fastback. One of my favorite books is “Islands in the Stream” because it brilliantly portrays the inner struggles we all face. My favorite movie is the Fifth Element. The blending of music and cinematography is unique. As for unlimited money and world problems, if I won a large lottery, I would not only support education, I would establish a Washington based think tank that would recruit researchers to study and seek to solve environmental, racial, and cultural issues. It would incorporate living facilities, research areas, and conference facilities along the Potomac River east of Washington, DC. Again welcome to the MU community. Frank Trapp

    • Ben Hancock says:

      Frank, thanks for your reply. I grew up on 10 miles from Chester, so we have more in common than you know!

      All the best,

      Ben Hancock

  5. Kelly C. Walter Carney says:

    Well, I can’t resist a discussion about books.

    One of my favorites is “The Stream of Life,” by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. I re-read this (thankfully short) book nearly every year, because Clarice expresses so well the beauty of living. Her ideas about language combine with her mysticism in really interesting (postmodern, feminist) ways.

    Actually, my favorite movie is “Wings of Desire,” which, in many ways, is about the same things, with the added bonus of a Berlin setting (and Peter Falk!).

    (I’m just doing my part to be the English professor who brings in things out of left field).
    KCWC

    • Ben Hancock says:

      KCWC, thanks for your response. I will be sure to check out the book and the movie.

      Ben Hancock

  6. Al Rent says:

    Ben, I am so sorry I missed you before you left. You moved too fast and I was too busy. Hope all is well. I’m sure you’re swamped with meetings, receptions, food . . . life can be good, can’t it! It’s just not the same around here without you. For one thing your office is clean. Sweet! But for another I’ll miss your sense of humor. You left us with big shoes to fill and a work ethic that will be hard to top. All the best to you and your wife. How sweet it is to fulfill a life-long dream! Be well and be safe.
    AL

    • Ben Hancock says:

      Thanks Al. I appreciate your comments and will miss you greatly. I hope Linda has recovered.

      See you soon,

      Ben