The Most Important People

Today at the AJC blog – Get Schooled by Maureen Downey – is an open letter from Professor David Dudley to everyone at  Georgia Southern University. It addresses many issues, but I was struck by the following part excerpted below. As they say, read the whole thing. 

“The Most Important People at Georgia Southern . . .

are not its president, nor its provost. Nor its other vice-presidents, deans, department chairs, advisors, staff members, or faculty members. The most important people here are our students, and when we forget that, we might as well turn off the lights, lock the doors, and go home.

The most important person on our campus is the young woman from a small southeast Georgia town who will enter here as a freshman in August. She will be nervous but excited. She might not know what she wants to study, but will find her interest sparked in a biology course, or a sociology class, or in a philosophy class. A certain professor will ask a certain question, present a certain problem, discuss a certain topic that this student has never heard of or thought of before. And then her education begins.

The most important person on our campus is the young man from Atlanta who could have gone to UGA but chose us because he was impressed by our personal regard for him as a student and as a person. He already knows he wants to study business, but he, too, will be surprised at how his intellectual field is enlarged by what he hears in an American history class, or in a geology lab, or at a construction site.

These young kids are more important than we are. That’s what we’ve told the world through our choice to help educate them, prepare them for the challenges of citizenship that lie ahead. We are here because we’ve chosen to serve them.”

He raises the level well beyond “priorities” – and brings to mind a true sense of “mission”.  Well done Professor!

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