[By Eugene Wilkerson, Regis CPS Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management] When I started as a faculty member at Regis University, a mentor and friend gave me some good advice. She asked, “Eugene, do you move deck chairs?” Needless to say, I was a bit puzzled by the question. “At Regis, faculty members are more than just teachers; we are mentors and we are servants. At times, you may be asked to do things that sound out of the ordinary for a faculty member but that is the Regis Way. We go where we are needed and we do what is needed; even if it involves moving deck chairs.”
That advice was put to good use when I was asked to serve as the Guest Coach at a Women’s Volleyball game. What a surprise. I am not particularly athletic and never played competitive sports at any level. Further, I was asked to give a motivational speech. What would I say? These young women are in Regis College whereas I am a ranked faculty member for the Master’s of Nonprofit Management program in the College of Professional Studies. To be honest, I almost turned down this amazing honor; however, I decided to ‘move some deck chairs’ and to share the experience with my wife and son.
What a wonderful Saturday evening. Speaking from the heart, I wanted these young women to remember the importance of unity. “I have studied individual leaders, teams, and organizations for the better part of my life. The one thing that I know for sure is that a house divided cannot succeed. When you are on the court be of one mind, one body, and one heart. Teams that are of one mind play for each other and not for themselves. Teams that are of one body work together and lift each other through trial and tribulation. Teams that are of one heart share a passion to succeed.”
What I saw on display that evening was a sense of unity that made me proud to be a Regis University faculty member. The gym was about a quarter full. Yet, about ten students made a point to chant and sing throughout the entire game. The noise they made filled the gymnasium. My six year old son, Micah, sat with me behind the team bench. There, we met a Regis University alumnus from the 1960s who stopped by to enjoy the game. Micah received several “high-fives” from players during the game. He was also awarded a Regis University tee shirt.
Things are changing here at Regis University. We have a new president and overall higher education faces many challenges in the near future.
Yet, I am hopeful.
On that Saturday evening I saw unity. Not only from the young women who beat their opponent three sets to nil. I saw unity between the past, the present, and the future. My son wears his Regis University T-shirt to school every week, no matter the weather. I think that at age 6, he has decided to be a Regis Ranger. This is another hopeful sign regarding the future of a unified Regis University.