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  • A Heart for HealingA Heart for HealingMore

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    One alum's groundbreaking research
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  • Future Investments

    At the age of 4, Phebe Davis fell in love with music after seeing “The Phantom of the Opera.” So, when the Montana resident learned she had a full scholarship to study pre-law at an Ivy League school, she did what felt natural--declined the offer and pursued her passion for music.

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    Vikrant Gautam or Dalton Parker never imagined they would be extorted in the midst of their final exam. Fortunately, the extortion only cost them a few extra pieces of chocolate and Star Wars stickers and was a scenario built into their epic finale crafted by their instructor Dr. Kristi DiClemente, visiting assistant professor of history at The W.

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    Creating a poem in 140 characters. Writing in an electronic medium with hyperlinks that take the reader to non-linear stories. These are some of the ways in which 11 graduate students in the university’s new MFA in creative writing are expanding their skills, their thinking, and their professional prospects.

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The year was 2011. The place was the Rose Room in Cochran Hall. Our newly appointed Presidential Search Committee had gathered to discuss its vision for the right person to lead this university into the future.

Ruth Pettey JonesAnd what a wonderful mix of people for this job--community leaders, students, faculty, staff, alums. We met in the exciting prospect of shaping the next decade or so of our MUW.

To get us started, the search consultants posed this question: What qualities do you want in your next president? Twenty minutes later, we were clear about one thing: male or female, this person would have to be a super hero: the kind who soars through the skies, uses X-ray vision to see through concrete and leaps tall buildings in a single bound.

In reality, what we wanted wasn’t so much a super hero as a super president: a leader who respects our traditions, but embraces positive change; a person who understands our mission and honors it; someone who will inspire students, grow enrollment, increase graduation rates. In short, we were looking for a president who loves this university as much as we do.

I met Jim Borsig on a beautiful autumn morning when he came to The W to witness firsthand the rare jewel we are. He was engaged, eager and focused. On that day in November, I hoped we’d found the right person for the job. Today, I know we have.

In my capacity as chairman of the Foundation Board, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Borsig since his arrival on campus. Here are a few things I’ve learned about him along the way:

• He is a servant leader, believing that his office exists to serve our university and its constituents.
• He genuinely cares about this place – not just these hallowed grounds or the bricks and mortar; but the history, traditions and people that make MUW unique.
• He is willing to roll up his sleeves, to do the hard work that makes for success.

Jim Borsig does not wear Superman’s cape. But he is a hero just the same. In these past months, I’ve watched him fight for our programs, our people and our position in this great state of Mississippi. He gives us his best so we can be our best – collectively as a university but as individuals, too.

On Feb. 15, we celebrated Dr. Borsig’s inauguration. We confirmed his place with us. We offered congratulations, warm wishes and high hopes for his future. Now, I pledge my support for Dr. Borsig’s continued success. I trust you will join me in this pledge. He is one of us now. The leader we call president. Dr. Borsig, welcome home. Welcome to our One Long Blue Line.


Warm regards,
Ruth Pettey Jones, Class of 1976
Chairman
MUW Foundation Board

 

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