Class Reunions and Homecomings

Class Reunions and Homecomings

Are you going back this year? Will you attend homecoming and/or your high school or college reunion? Is the class of 1964, ‘74, ‘84, ’94, or 2004 beckoning you to come back and see all your long-lost pals?

Sometimes we want to go back. Sometimes we don’t. My conclusion is that yesterday looks better and better in the rearview mirror. The things that once embarrassed us when we were cool young college students are not so embarrassing now that we have kids of our own. The failures that marked us early in life have melted away as we learned to accept who we are.  We have less to prove. We’re all aging. Raising kids has humbled, if not humiliated, us.

[Read more…]

A Day in the Life of a University President

A Day in the Life of a University President

Peter Drucker became my best friend the day he said something like this: “The three toughest jobs in the world are large church pastor, president of a small university, and school superintendent in a mid-sized town.” I’m one away from a trifecta of hard work.

[Read more…]

When Public Families Share their Pain – Reflections on September 11

When Public Families Share their Pain – Reflections on September 11

I recently attended the funeral of Peggy Benson. The Benson name is a Nashville icon. They founded a publishing company, created a music empire, and were notable leaders in Nashville First Church of the Nazarene.

At Trevecca Nazarene University, you will find Benson Residence Hall and Benson Auditorium. In the line of presidential pictures, you can view John T. Benson. They have been entrepreneurs, business leaders, benefactors, authors, song leaders, musicians, artists, speakers, and preachers. Peggy’s last job was in the Trevecca School of Education where she spread characteristic Benson love even as she wrestled with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Daughter Leigh and son Michael gave fitting tributes to their mother, recognizing her bravery in refusing to pack it in following tragedy. She experienced the death of a sister, the tragic loss of a son, and the battle with cancer that took her beloved husband.

[Read more…]

Good Bones

Good Bones

Looking for a house is an exhausting endeavor. Having moved a few times, I’ve logged enough hours to reflect. First impression is powerful – a painted front door, open spaces, fragrant aroma. I knew by how a house smelled whether my wife would like it or not. She could sniff a house and know if it would do.  I was never able to talk her into a fixer-upper. It didn’t matter what my “vision of what this could become” was; it just didn’t smell right.

A friend of ours was also looking for a house. As he surveyed the available real estate, he was careful to look beyond the surface features of the house – the paint, the wallpaper, the carpet, the drapes, the smell. He was interested in the foundation and the load bearing walls. I was amused by his insistence that the house have “good bones.” All the rest could be altered, but you live with the structure of the bones.

[Read more…]