President Meyers grateful, urges faculty and staff to press forward

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President Carolyn W. Meyers paused Thursday to reflect on the university’s accomplishments, thank her team and remind all that much work remained.

“Going forward, we have to be cautious not to declare victory too soon,’’ Meyers said during the Annual Faculty and Staff Seminar. “We together must continue to support the essence of ONE JSU: being focused.

“Together, we must continue to think bold and audacious thoughts and work together to translate these into actions that will bring honor to this university, its founders, our former colleagues and friends on whose shoulders we stand,” Meyers said during the seminar’s opening session at the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium.

The university, on Meyers’ watch, has enjoyed record enrollment, improved the freshman profile and was named an Apple Distinguished School.

Meyers also initiated a creative awards program for faculty and staff, started several new degree programs as well as JSU Online.

But Meyers, HBCU Digest’s Female President of the Year, deflected attention away from herself and toward her team.

“Often I reflect on how extraordinarily blessed I am to be here,” she said. “I came here scared, unsure, but hopeful and you have given me the best three and a half years any university president could want or dream of.  If you remember nothing else about my remarks, this is a great big thank you to the university.”

Thursday’s program also included Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber, who said the city is looking forward to partnering with the university in a number of ways including through JSU’s Institute of Government. The Institute of Government, Yarber said, is set to help the city develop its strategic plan.

“I want to applaud you for understanding the importance of education in our city,” Yarber said.

Dr. Saundra Y. McGuire, director emerita of the Louisiana State University Center for Academic Success, served as keynote for Thursday’s first general session.

The seminar will continue through Friday, Aug. 15. Meyers encouraged both faculty and staff the embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“At the start of this academic year let us all commit to JSU continuing to be the beacon of hope and opportunity to all,” Meyers said. “And because of that, we must remember, with apologies to Robert Frost,  ‘we have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep, and miles to go before we sleep.’ ”