From the President
The time has come after 16 wonderful years as president of this magnificent institution to bid farewell to outstanding colleagues, students and friends. Moving on is never easy when the current experience is so rewarding. However, Jeanine and I are very excited about doing more things together and about moving closer to our son and daughter-in-law, and our two grandsons. We will value spending more time with both Brady Larson and Lincoln Kenneth Dobbins. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t treasure every minute we have spent at Southeast Missouri State University. We believe that being President and First Lady of Southeast has been a privilege, and one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. Thank you for being part of those 16 years.
In a career where I’ve worked with legislators and business leaders, met heroes like Gen. Colin Powell and celebrities like Soledad O’Brien and Anderson Cooper, I can honestly say without hesitation that my most favorite memories are shaking hands with students at commencement. Talk about events to treasure—there is nothing that can compare with seeing graduates receive their Southeast degree with pride and excitement. I had the privilege to shake their hands, and to congratulate them on what will be one of the greatest accomplishments of their lives.
So it was bittersweet when Jenny Macke, one of our Presidential Ambassadors this year, at left, was the final graduate to walk across the stage at spring commencement. I’ll cherish the memory along with the memory of congratulating the other 30,000 students who came before her – students who came to Southeast seeking passports to better lives and yearning for knowledge, so they can make positive differences.
Those are the things I shall truly miss about being president, yet the burden is eased in knowing that our wonderful faculty, staff, and our new president, Carlos Vargas, will continue working, persevering, and helping students to succeed. No, I won’t be participating in commencement events anymore, but how I delight in knowing that they will still occur.
Jeanine and I extend our best wishes to you all and thank you for your time, your treasure and your friendship to Southeast and to us.
Kenneth W. Dobbins
June 18, 2015
June 16, 2015
June 11, 2015