As the theme “There’s No Place Like Home” came to life this past weekend in honor of WKU’s Homecoming events, I was encouraged by the many visits I had with former students and alumni of our college who found their way back “home” this weekend.
As we do every year, our College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) hosted a tailgate tent for Homecoming weekend on the South Lawn of WKU’s campus. It’s on this lawn that family, friends, alumni, and students gather for fellowship and food in preparation for the impending football game. It’s also on this lawn that I once walked past as a student crossing campus to my next lecture. Just as WKU President Tim Caboni and WKU Head Football Coach Mike Sanford found themselves returning to a place they called home many years ago, I too found myself returning to WKU, a placed I once called “home”, in March of 2015.
Even though I grew up in Paducah, KY, and traveled to numerous cities and states to earn my educational degrees and professional training and to advance my academic and administrative career there is something special about coming back to serve in a leadership role at a university in which I formally attended as a graduate student. Upon acceptance of the position to serve as Dean of the WKU CHHS, I briefly gleaned upon my time as a student at WKU. I knew there would be some familiarity with my surroundings as I returned to WKU. I was also aware that there would be much that was unfamiliar to me. This contrast of surroundings allowed me to engage in much discourse to share both what I knew about WKU and to learn what I did not yet know about WKU!
So much is the same when conversing with former colleagues, and alumni, there is a shared respect of lineage and roots to WKU. It’s humble ground we walk on as we return to the places we once called “home”. It’s always good to return to the places and to give back to the places that once watered our roots. In light of the Homecoming weekend on the Hill, I can also agree that there is no place like home!