Thursday, September 15, 2011

Becoming a Teacher

It was a privilege to have U.S. Army Lt. Col (Ret.) Steve Russell on campus Monday. If you missed his chapel presentation, I encourage you to view it online. His visit ended several days of commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and I'm thankful to the many of you who worked to create meaningful opportunities to remember what should never be forgotten.

As Lt. Col. Russell was preparing his notes just before chapel Monday, someone announced that a guest was here who wanted to meet the speaker. To our surprise, the guest was one of the soldiers Steve had commanded in Iraq. It was heartwarming to watch these two greet each other as only special brothers can do. Steve asked about this man's life now, and he reported that he taught government at Marshall High School nearby. I'll not forget what happened next. Steve took hold of the man's shoulders, looked deep into his eyes as only an Army commander can do, said to him, "I'm so proud of you for becoming a teacher!"

Army officers like Steve are experts at equipping, motivating, and leading men and women. They understand the value of education. Being a witness to that special moment reminded me of just how important our work is here at LeTourneau. We have a God-given privilege to invest in the lives of thousands of men and women.

Whether we give a lecture in a classroom or prepare a transcript, we are all teachers with daily opportunities to live by example in front of our students. It is a privilege few have. I'm so proud of all of you for becoming teachers!