That Small Town Feeling

After listening to a presentation recently by author Heather Lende, I asked her why she doesn’t spend more time on the speaker’s tour, as her message is one that would resonate with communities like Methodist. The response from this Haines, Alaska (population 2,493) resident was simple, “I don’t like being away from home that much.”

I can certainly identify with Heather’s sentiments, as I feel the same way when I leave MU (population 2,474). That “small town feeling” is what makes our community special. I literally feel like I’m letting people down when I’m away, although the truth of the matter is that I don’t want to miss anything. In fact, if I’m out of town on University business for a few days, one of the students will inevitably ask me, “Where have you been? We haven’t seen you in a while!” Now, how’s that for making you feel like you are part of a community and people notice when you’re there or not? My hope and desire is that every member of the MU community has that same sense of belonging to this place.

blog hainesOur University community is actually a series of neighborhoods like you would find in any small town. The residents identify with their residence hall, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other organization. Each fulfills a student’s need for belonging. It’s what brings students to Methodist and what keeps them here. Once they join the community, they don’t want to let anyone down by leaving.

When I first visited Methodist in November 2010 for my interview for the presidency, I reflected on that visit by saying “It’s the kind of place that you can wrap your arms around and it hugs you back.” Nearly six years later, I feel the same way today, as the recipient of so many more hugs than I could possibly have given.

One of the phrases we often use as we offer nuggets of advice to our students is, “It’s all about relationships.” Here at Methodist you learn that early in your University experience, and it’s then extended and applied to learning and eventually work experiences.

I’m so glad I chose Methodist and equally glad that Methodist chose me. Both are required for a successful relationship. And I’m so excited for our new students as they discover MU for themselves and create lifelong relationships as they join a new community and neighborhood that welcomes them with open arms. It’s “coming home” for the first of many times – over four years and over a lifetime as this small town of caring people draws you back.

Heather Lende, thank you for sharing Haines with me. I have found my own home at Methodist and I invite you to visit our community in the near future. You won’t want to leave it!

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“This is your cathedral”

“This is your cathedral.”

The words still resonate with me like a fog lingering after dawn. Such was the statement made by a guide to the Methodist University Chorale during their tour of the Washington National Cathedral this past Friday. The premier MU choral group was at its second stop of a five-day tour that included performances in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“A sacred space for all people and all faiths.” Powerful words for our students to absorb and appreciate. Indeed, isn’t this the same mission for a great University – to be created for all people of all faiths? Such is chorale_philadelphiathis place we call Methodist University, welcoming students from over 60 countries to learn together, live together, grow together, and yes, sing together.

Our 36-member Chorale under the direction of Dr. Michael Martin represented the University well as they performed a varied program to the joy of audiences in churches, cathedrals, and schools who now will be added to those thousands of concert goers over the years who have come to appreciate the music traditions of Methodist University. The most common response: “When can you return?” I am proud of all our students, but this special group of talented Monarchs are among the best who consistently give their best as they represent the University at home and abroad.

I have often proclaimed that “Methodist gets it right.” These gifted vocalists chose MU to hone their skills for a lifetime of singing, believing that this is the right place for them to do something they love while earning a University education. But more than that, they chose Methodist because they found a place to call home.

Before the last performance of the tour scheduled for Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church in Philadelphia (with continuous services since 1769 and where Francis Asbury served as pastor), the Chorale gathered in the sanctuary to reflect on this and preceding tours and what they meant to them. The stories shared included memories of special sacred spaces, of first trips to parts of the United States and Europe, of wonderful opportunities to perform in places beyond their wildest dreams. But most of all, the students reflected on lifelong friendships forged through shared experiences – outcomes University leaders (and choral directors) dream about and hope will occur during students’ careers.

This is your University . . . a University created for all students. We welcome all to this place where shared experiences are there for the taking. Come sing with us or simply enjoy the music and lifelong friendships in the making.

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When a pool is more than a place to swim

Methodist UniversityThis past week, I was fortunate to receive a presentation from a group of Leadership Fellows who have conducted a feasibility study for a pool at the University. While the students from the Lura S. Talley Center for Leadership Development may have thought they had simply fulfilled a commitment to conduct the study over the past year, for me as president it was much more.

As an educator and especially as a university president, I sometimes wonder if our students are maximizing their MU experience. Like my own five children, I want the best for them and worry like a parent if they are taking advantage of all that is available to them. Are they developing problem-solving skills that will last them a lifetime? Are they learning to work as a team, collaborating with one another toward a common goal? Are they perfecting their communication skills, oral and written, to help them make compelling cases for things they think are right and worth doing?

“It’s all about asking the right questions” is something my own faculty mentors reminded me during my collegiate career – a message that still proves relevant as I address issues facing higher education and Methodist University specifically. Will it be used by the campus community? How can the case be made for the use of the pool across the campus? What will it cost and what will be the funding sources? How does this project compare with other campus facility needs? What are the potential risks associated with operating a pool? What will be the time line for building a pool? The Fellows not only had the answers to these and other questions, but also were prepared through a survey conducted within the University community to provide hard data and a compelling case for support.

As was the case with my own children when they were growing up, I needn’t worry about MU students, especially this group of Leadership Fellows who represent some of the best students in America (like the rest of the MU students, by the way!). They reminded me once again that MU gets it right, thanks to the faculty and staff who work with our students every day to provide the tools that will equip them to solve the problems of tomorrow and to collaborate with one another, thus building vibrant and engaged communities. (A special thank-you is in order to Talley Center Director Andrew Ziegler and other faculty mentors.)

So will there be a pool at Methodist University? The short answer is yes, the construction of a pool is included in the University’s Master Plan developed four years ago and we will eventually build one. But the feasibility study conducted by the Leadership Fellows and the passion with which they tackled their assignment convinced me and the other administrators present that a second phase University feasibility study for a pool should be conducted in the coming year, followed by the development of architectural plans and a funding strategy. Once the funding has been secured, we should be in a position to move forward to the construction phase. This all becomes possible because of the study by this group of students who provided a compelling case for action on the MU campus.

The Leadership Fellows project was more than a feasibility for a pool. It was the essence of what we do so well at Methodist – preparing our students to be tomorrow’s leaders. The Best Students in America, indeed.

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2015: Building on a Culture of Excellence

When selecting an overarching theme for the new five-year plan for Methodist University, the Strategic Planning Committee’s consensus was “Building on a Culture of Excellence.” How could this group comprised of trustees, faculty, staff and students make such a bold assertion?  One has to look no further than the highlights of this the fifth and final year of the current Strategic Plan to validate this claim. Here are just a few highlights:

Excellence in Health Sciences.  Our nationally-recognized Physician Assistant Program attracted nearly 600 applications for 40 openings for the fall of 2015. Our Nursing Program has graduated its second class and received unconditional accreditation. The new Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will enroll the full maximum of 40 students in its inaugural class this fall.

Excellence in Music.  A highlight of the rapidly expanding music program was the MU Chorale’s first-ever European Tour, which included performing in Saint-Avold, France – Fayetteville’s sister city.

Excellence in Globalization.  A record number of students traveled abroad this past year on four continents. This included two new MU study centers in Wales and Italy. The University also attracted a record number of international students – 160 from 55 different countries.

Excellence in Visiting Speakers.  This spring witnessed campus visits from two internationally known leaders in their fields. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer-prize winning historian and author, delivered the Presidential Lecture in April. May graduates and their guests were addressed by PBS News Hour anchor Judy Woodruff. Both are wonderful role models for our students, underscoring our leadership and communications programs.

Excellence in Facilities.  As the University completes the Armstrong Baseball Fieldhouse, the new Thomas R. McLean Health Science Building is under roof and on schedule to open in January 2016. Over the past five years, 13 buildings on campus were either renovated or constructed.

Excellence in Athletics.  Leading the way was Men’s Golf, which won the NCAA Division III National Championship in mid-May, the 11th time in program history. For the second consecutive year, the Monarchs won the President’s Trophy for the best overall program and for the best men’s program in the USA South Athletic Conference. Baseball won the conference championship this spring and made an NCAA post-season appearance. Finally, the Cheer Squad has won back-to-back National Championships.

Excellence in Philanthropy.  The $35 million Building Excellence Campaign recently surpassed the $34 million mark, with more than a year to go before its completion on June 30, 2016. This fund drive has helped ensure excellence through support of new facilities and endowment.

Excellence in People.  This is where MU truly excels. As you would expect from a quality institution, Methodist is people-centered. Signature people define excellence in the most important way of all. From an outstanding Board of Trustees to inspiring faculty and caring staff, Methodist University delivers the gold!

With such a solid foundation of excellence achieved over the past year, Methodist University is poised for even greater accomplishments in the next. Excellence is more than a slogan at MU. It has become a tradition, a mindset, and an expectation. And to think, the best is yet to be!

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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 bhancock@methodist.edu 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

President

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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
President

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