In My Own Words
Thoughts on Education, Artistry, and Leadership

My (occasional) blog includes articles I've been invited to contribute and remarks from events at which I have been asked to speak, in addition to comments written specifically for my web audience.

Please send your comments and critiques; they are always appreciated.

Star Student at Seton Hall Noted for Sideline Antics

After years of studies, senior Peter Dill has finally been recognized for his outstanding work at Seton Hall University.

In a 60-second lead-in to the ESPN Top 10 segment on January 4, anchor John Buccigross noted Dill's oustanding academic record had placed him on the "honor roll every semester."

Given the NCAA regularly runs commercials which say, "There are 380,000 NCAA student-athletes and most of them will go pro in something other than sports," [VIDEO] it seems natural that ESPN would highlight a student-athlete's studies and give him national media attention.

Unfortunately, that is wishful thinking. Buccigross' offhanded comment about Dill's scholastic accomplishment only appeared in the 12:56 p.m. ET broadcast (as captured by YouTube user kenexakauffman). Repeats of the segment, including the one ESPN posted to YouTube (above), omit the recognition. Instead, they only feature Dill's sideline antics as a walk-on basketball player for the Pirates.

Perry Mason prepares for kids crafts event at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Nashville, by Daniel M. Reck, on Flickr

Remarks at the Greek Life Banquet and Awards
April 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM
The Stockdale Center at Monmouth College

Brothers and sisters, thank you! Your effort, your devotion, have made this the hands-down best year in Greek Life. Every year since I arrived in 2008, you have ratcheted yourselves up.   

You have confronted your challenges with confidence, and overcome them with intelligence. We’ve come a long way, and you own that success outright.

When our founders created our fraternities back in the nineteenth century, they did so because they felt there was a need on their campuses that wasn’t being met. They needed a family, right there on campus, to provide a network of support and to help build each sister and brother up so that they would be the best lady or gentleman they could possibly be.

Our ritual provides the framework of values to accomplish this. In the ritual of Sigma Nu Fraternity—my fraternity—we promise to be constant to our “Fraternal Profession.” But what does that mean? Fraternal Profession?

After being blasted with more than a foot of snow last night, some of it drifting up to three feet, the Monmouth College campus was something of a mess this morning.

While I trudged my way through hip-deep snow on the way to work, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a few Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity members, including house manager Dominic Savino (pictured above), were out shoveling the sidewalks on the north end of campus.

Classes were canceled today, as they were at many universities in our region. While society might assume that "the frat boys" would take the opportunity to sleep in, it was nice to see that they had taken their fraternal oaths of service seriously. No one asked them to help our Physical Plant staff, yet there they were, scooping up the heavy fluff.

Thanks, gentlemen.

Welcome to real life. Too bad this stuff never happens on TV shows featuring fraternity members.

Remarks at the Court of Honor of Boy Scouts of America Troop 355
December 2, 2010 at 6:30 PM
First United Methodist Church of Monmouth, Illinois

This past summer, forty five thousand Boy Scouts and Scouters gathered together in Virginia to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of Scouting in America. One of Troop 355’s very own, Life Scout Nick Mainz, was there, too, as part of the contingent from the Illowa Council. These boys (and a few girls from the Venturing program) were all part of something special, the seventeenth National Scout Jamboree.

The Jamboree is like “summer camp extreme!” As such, every fourth year it offers “scouts the opportunity to participate in physically and intellectually challenging activities, [and introduce] them to new and rewarding experiences” (Harris Interactive). It’s like the Olympics, except that at its opening ceremony, rather than a parade of great athletes, there is an assembly of our nation’s greatest youth and some of their best Scouting friends from around the world.