Over the years as a business school professor, I have come to respect Walmart and especially the story of founder Sam Walton (a native Oklahoman like me). But here's an admission: I really don't like to shop there! Too many people and too many lines I suppose.
This may be the only time of year I like to go to Walmart. Why? I like to look at the back-to-school supplies! I still get a kick out of browsing through new pencils, crayons, notebooks, and Pink Pearl erasers. I like to think about young children heading back to school with new backpacks and big hopes; and refreshed teachers returning to begin their good work in a great ministry — the classroom. In my opinion, education is a sacred work.
Just two weeks from today, on Aug. 23, we will welcome a new class of incoming freshman students to campus. Dr. Steve Condon and the Enrollment Services team are finishing work on what will be a very impressive new class. And our Office of Global Initiatives, under the direction of Dr. Robert Hudson, has recruited a record number of new international students to campus this fall. I know you will all be intentional about welcoming these new students from near and abroad, with broad smiles and genuine hospitality for which we are known at LeTourneau University.
This summer marked the completion of my fifth year as president. During my recent vacation with Marsha, I had some quiet time to reflect on the initiatives we have accomplished during this past five years, and where I feel God is leading us for the next foreseeable future. I look forward to sharing with you more about those reflections at my State of the University address in the Belcher Center on Monday, Aug. 20.
That address each year brings the entire LeTourneau Nation together. It is a special "family time" for us to greet some of our friends from other educational sites, to meet some of our new faces, and to kick off the new semester with a picnic lunch and stories of our summer adventures.
I pray that you feel as I do that we are blessed to be doing this sacred work of education, using the knowledge, skills and passion God has given each of us, to equip a new generation of graduates who will see their life's work as a holy calling and who will reflect Christ in every workplace in every nation.