2017 has flown by much to quickly!
I was thinking back on our year…that is passing us like a ‘freight train passes a bum,’ and I was surprised to discover that I have been able to accomplish two things that I love to do, almost daily.
Since January, I have walked for health most days. This has become such a habit that I miss my Campus Explorations when I am unable to indulge in them.
Of course, I combine my daily walks with my love of photography and the event is many times more enjoyable.
When I am on the Campus, that I love, and where I spent over thirty-two years as an employee, I reflect on the rich past and hope for a great future for our wonderful SIU.
Our University is preparing to undergo a Great Experiment…in that the entire academic structure is going to be changed to facilitate a more nimble and hearty institution.
I can not help but think of former SIU President, Delyte Morris, as I pass his statue on Old Campus each day.
According to first hand witnesses, who recounted Dr. Morris’s greatness, to me, when I first began at the University in 1978…he had an ability to make everyone feel that they were a part of the success of the Campus.
The people that spoke to me about, their President, extolled the time that he took to meet each member of the University Community…individually, and the interest that he displayed in their contributions to the School.
I was in Morris Library today and saw a large photo of Delyte and Dorothy riding their bicycles across Campus. I am told that they did this on a regular basis and that they would stop and talk with the janitors and the grounds workers and the professors.
My friend and former chancellor, Dr. Jo Ann Argersinger, was very similar to the description of Delyte Morris, in that she projected a bonding and a collegiality and a friendship with, professors and grounds workers and janitors…and the excitement surrounding her, less than a year leadership, was palpable.
When Jo Ann was terminated there was an outcry from faculty and staff and students…that perhaps will never be forgotten.
It was my great honor and distinct privilege to experience, firsthand, what it was like to have Campus Leaders project to me their genuine confidence in me and to seek my counsel on matters.
When a leader demonstrates real confidence in you and your ideas…it is an unmistakable call to rise to your very best.
And, so, I wish new chancellor Montemagno nothing but success. He has been given the Wheel of a massive ship of opportunity…that is filled with people that not only love the University but who have decades of institutional knowledge and passion and zeal… to be called into the service of turning the ship around and heading it into calm waters.
I have also been able to write on most days in 2017. This was a goal of mine when I retired at the conclusion of 2010 and I have throughly enjoyed my daily writing experience.
I write…for myself…and I hope that others enjoy my scribblings.
I find writing a peaceful enterprise. I have enjoyed the exercise of writing since I was very young and it give this 60 year old a feeling of accomplishment.
My friend, Margo, tells me that I might want to combine my blog posts into a book…I think she is on to something!
I am thankful on so many levels.
My buddies, Ron and Ira Kaye, will be joining us for Thanksgiving Dinner and they will be bringing Mrs. Moore…who in December will be 101 years old.
Mary Jane, who loves Thanksgiving, has been hosting the event for 30 years…and she is as excited to be doing so… as the first time that she did.
We have invited my brother Brock and Sister-in-law Marcy and my nephew Jeb and my niece Jamie for next Thanksgiving…and I hope they can come as they are our new found family and we love them!
I think when the time arrives for us to leave this wonderful life…we will not be thinking that we wished we had worked longer hours or that we had obtained another promotion…but rather we will be thinking about the people that we loved…and those that loved us.
‘We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.’ G.K. Chesterton