A bright future for our leaders, thanks to some present ones
Over the past month, I have had the honor and privilege to represent our NIRSA at two Student Lead On Conferences (Regions III and IV), the Emerging Recreational Sports Leaders Conference, and the heavily student-attended Mississippi/Alabama state workshop. Thank you to those who hosted and served on the respective program committees. With over 700 in attendance at these four events, it excites me to share with the entire Membership that our future is bright with the talented, enthusiastic and energetic students, who will so quickly become professionals, and the young Professional Members who will come to lead our Association down the road.
Further evidence of our bright future came with the opportunity to review the scholarship applications as a member of the NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors (the NIRSA President serves a one-year term on the Foundation Board). The 60 applicants shared their current involvement with NIRSA, their current position's duties and their future aspirations. Students' passion towards our profession, as well as their commitment, was clearly evident in each and every statement of the candidates.
To all those attendees and young professionals, thank you for your dedication and interest in carrying forward the message and programs, services and facilities that we deliver every day in our institutional setting.
Thank you as well to all experienced professionals who have motivated and mentored the future leadership of our Association and our profession. Your contributions as mentors are a credit to your passion and dedication to keep all that we do viable through the future.
Part of the bright future is to thank two individuals who are about to conclude their current service to our NIRSA as members of the NIRSA Board of Directors. (Each are providing comments in this section as well.)
First, Tammy Garstka, NIRSA Past President, has provided outstanding leadership and service over the past three years of her presidential tenure. In each year of that three-year time span, there are different primary responsibilities assigned to the position. In each of those years, Tammy has excelled in carrying out those duties. She has made a difference to our members through her thoughtful, deliberate and effective actions. Her year as President was exceptionally productive in bringing to conclusion many long-debated agenda topics. She has been able to balance the needs of her institution, her Association and her family. Tammy, thank you for your service. In large part due to your contributions, we are in a much better place than we were three years ago. Thank you too for your friendship and your wise counsel during my two years on the board.
Second, Dennis Corrington is completing his fifth term on the NIRSA Board of Directors. An example of his character and dedication to our NIRSA is that Dennis was the recipient of the Honor Award, our highest recognition, 21 years ago in 1985. He has maintained his involvement and passion for our NIRSA consistently since then, serving as our President in 1995. With Dennis's departure from the one-year term as our Past Presidents' Representative, a great deal of Association memory goes with him. He was instrumental in assisting the Association through a financially challenging time just four short years ago as the Past Presidents' Representative, who chairs the Finance Committee. The implementation of the Financial Responsibility Initiative fell under Dennis's watch. This past year, Dennis led the Board of Directors through a productive and educational budget discussion for a day and a half of our mid-year meetings held in Louisville. Dennis, thank you for your service. Your contribution to our NIRSA, not only this past year, but for your entire career, will continue to have lasting impact and positive effects for years to come. Having had the chance to serve on both the Finance Committee and the Board with you, I have renewed and expanded my respect for you.
Outstanding leaders such as Tammy and Dennis, who serve as examples and role models to our younger professionals and future professionals, are one more reason why NIRSA will be great for years to come!