As I admired the new statue on campus in memory of Rachel Rollings and Britney Lipsey, I couldn’t help but think how such a statue typifies why this university is so special. Aptly named “The Teacher,” it memorializes Rachel’s dream to teach and make a difference in the lives of children.
From what I know of Professor Mayo and the university’s founding principles, Rachel and Britney were exactly the kind of students Professor Mayo had in mind when he founded this university. They were driven to learn, and driven to better their futures through higher education.
Mayo’s founding principles seem to permeate the campus today more than ever before. He was intent on providing learning opportunities for deserving students. My guess is, judging by the quotes we have preserved, he knew the names of the students for which he worked tirelessly.
That same sense of personal concern and involvement permeates this campus today.
Faculty, staff and alumni genuinely rejoice when our students succeed. They also are intimately grieved when a student is struck by tragedy or sidetracked by the hardships of life.
I experience that concern and interest everyday in the emails I get and the phone calls I receive from our alumni. Hardly a day goes by without someone asking about a student, or how they can do more to shape the lives of the next generation of alumni.
One of our most generous couples also spends time tutoring students. Some have retired from their work and sought ways to guest lecture or provide open doors with business associates. Others have worked relentlessly to keep their fraternity united and involved to the point of creating one of the university’s largest endowments.
There’s no question Professor Mayo, Sam Rayburn, Dr. David Talbot or any host of others closely associated with this university would be amazed at the new look of the campus, the excellence in teaching, and the wide variety of learning opportunities.
What I think they’d be most pleased with is that the legacy of providing opportunities is alive and well, and that new generations of students are getting their chances to change the world through the generosity of spirit expressed by you, our devoted alumni.
Director of Alumni Relations