There were so many things about Methodist’s recent Homecoming and Parents’ Weekend that made it special. Clearly, the record numbers in attendance for our football and soccer victories contributed to the successful weekend. Having so many alumni and parents on campus was also very exciting. But what truly made it an amazing experience were the stories.
When a graduate tells you she hasn’t been on campus in 40 years, you can imagine she has a story to share. When a mom and dad see their freshman son for the first time since dropping him off in August, he certainly has a story to tell. When eight distinguished individuals receive alumni awards, you can believe they have stories to convey. And when outstanding athletes are honored at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet, you can imagine they have incredible athletic feats to relive.
But the stories that mean the most to me are not those recited in front of an audience or during a special ceremony, even though they are heartwarming and memorable. What I treasure are the “small things” that every alumni and every parent tells you about a faculty or staff member – in the days gone by or just yesterday – that lets me know that Methodist gets it right. It reminds me that the reason former and current students came to Methodist in the first place was because of the people, and yet again during Homecoming Weekend those stories were retold and new stories were shared.
“Good people doing good things” is a phrase I use quite often at Methodist. Some of these people are recognized with awards, and it is great to see them recognized for outstanding accomplishments over their lifetimes. But there are many, many others who quietly make a difference on the MU campus without expecting or desiring any acclaim. They do it because it is the natural thing to do.
The greatest compliments I receive are when visitors go out of their way to tell me how impressed they are with the people at Methodist. Parents tell me that the good feelings they had during the admissions visit have continued during the matriculation process. Alumni tell me how impressed they are with the hospitality they are shown when they return to campus, making them feel truly welcomed.
We have a wonderful campus community here at Methodist. As president, I am certainly proud of our record enrollment and record turnouts. I am very excited about the expansion of our facilities and what it will mean for our future. But I am most proud of our people, and how they “deliver the gold” every day.
I’m the luckiest president of any university in the country. It’s also one of the main reasons, along with the amazing students here, that I have the best job in America.
P.S. Please feel free to go to our flickr page to check out the many photos from Homecoming and Parents’ Day and see why it was the “best weekend ever.”