Yesterday was our first day of classes at Sul Ross State University. I walked around campus and met and saw students as they rushed to and from buildings. They were busy, hopeful, and energized to start a new year. I remember my days as a student. I recall feeling nervous about starting a new semester and wondering if I would relate to my professors, my classmates and my courses. As I progressed in college, I learned some very valuable lessons. First, I learned to attend class because most of my professors did not appreciate a student who did not show up to learn. Second, I learned to pay attention – whether in class or outside, it paid to give my attention to a project, assignment, goal, or relationship. And finally, I learned that there are people who want to help along a college career and they wanted me to take advantage of their help so that I could succeed.
These lessons translated over time as I gained more experience and ultimately led into my professional career. I value individuals who take the time to teach me about ideas and I value individuals who want to listen and learn from my experiences. I continue to “show up” so that I do not miss valuable opportunities to learn. I give attention to issues, concerns, projects and ideas that I believe are in the best interest of moving our university forward. As a student, I had to pay attention to get a good grade, now I give attention where it is needed most, like my family, my personal relationships, my professional relationships, and ideas that change lives. And throughout it all, I learned to take advantage of opportunities to improve circumstances. I frequently remind myself that challenges are simply opportunities waiting for a chance to grow.
I look around our campus and our community and I see so many opportunities for our students to use their education to change the world. I see our faculty and staff who want our students to succeed. And I also see the legacy from our alumni who already accepted the challenge and paved the way for our current students.
It’s a great day to be a Lobo!
President Bill Kibler