I’m honored to be a third generation college president, following my grandfather – I work at the big partner’s desk my grandfather had specially made back in the 1930s when he was president of Olivet Nazarene University – and then my dad who was president of two different schools for a total of 25 years.
Around our house, my wife and I are convinced that if there is to be a fourth generation College president in our family, it will have to be our daughter. She is the one who God has gifted for College leadership because she has never seen a problem that doesn’t have a solution, and she knows how to hold to a budget with an iron fist.
But our son is the philosopher about higher education. And I keep framed by my desk the essay he did when asked to define leadership in first grade:
“If I were President of the College, I would expect nice artwork. Better education. Having more students know more about God. Everybody will be working and studying. And I’d want to make the college better. And after the 4th year, I’d expect that when the students leave, they would be smart and they would obey the Lord.”
Being a dad is lots more important to me than being a college president . . . but if I can help Belhaven hold to those goals laid out in my son’s first grade essay, I’ll feel like I did the right things in the president’s office too.