Retiring faculty honored for service, offer advice to seniors
May 9, 2012
Leadership studies professors Gill Hickman and Tom Wren like to joke that they’re twins.
“We have so many things in common,” says Hickman. “We came to the Jepson School the same year. We have a lot of the same likes and dislikes. Our lives really parallel in a lot of ways.”
They are also both retiring this year after 20 years at the University. Hickman is retiring this spring and Wren at the end of the fall semester.
They were presented with the 2012 Jepson School Award for Leadership and Service at Finale. The ceremony recognizes and honors outstanding scholarship, academic achievements and service.
“This year the faculty and I thought it would be most appropriate to give the award jointly to Dr. Hickman and Dr. Wren,” said Sandra Peart, dean of the Jepson School.
“They have been voices of reason over the last 20 years. They have created courses where no courses existed. They have written textbooks that people across the country and outside the country use when they are teaching leadership studies, so they are most deserving.”
They were asked to be the keynote speakers “even though neither of us enjoys giving speeches,” Hickman laughed. She gave seniors advice based on her recent research on how purpose drives leadership.
“As you begin to prepare for and embark upon your careers, think about purpose. As you join the organizations that will become part of your daily life, ask yourself: Do I believe in the purpose of this organization? Do the people here live their purpose daily? Do I want to commit my time, abilities and heart to this work? When the answer is ‘yes,’ you will know you are in the right place.”
Wren reflected on the benefits of a liberal arts education.
“In the Jepson School, you have learned that leadership – put most simply, the process of facilitating the accomplishment of mutual objectives – is an inherent part of the human condition. It is ubiquitous, and to participate in it most successfully requires a full understanding of that human condition. This brings us back to the liberal arts and the nature of the Jepson education.”
Chelsea Shrader, ’12, president of the Jepson Student Government Association, gave the student address.
“As I look back at my Jepson experience, one word in particular sticks out to me. Opportunity. I am confident that as a result of our Jepson education and all of the opportunities provided for us through our individual experiences, we will be well prepared to put what we’ve learned here to good use.”