Texas College is historically preserved, fiscally and academically sound, President Dr. Dwight J. Fennell Sr. said in delivering a state-of-the-college address during convocation Wednesday.
Addressing students, faculty and staff, Fennell said the college is continuing celebration of its founding 120 years ago.
“Texas College since 1894 has been a part of this community as an educational entity assisting with the growth and development of individuals,” Fennell said. “Although it has a primary responsibility for providing educational support, the college has also served as one of many economic engines in this community.”
Speaking on the theme of building for the future and establishing a fingerprint for success,” Fennell said, “Now each of us has the responsibility and opportunity to be a part of the college’s future.”
He told the crowd, “Each of us here today is endowed with some talent from God. God has given us the ability to carry out a role and function with the expectation that something is to be achieved. You have a responsibility to achieve something while you are here.”
The faculty has been given the ability for teaching, staff and administrators have been give the ability for service to others and for students, this is a time to learn and receive an education that will help them become a productive member in life, Fennell said.
“It’s clear to me that our individual and collective responsibility in life is to grow and expand,” Fennell said. Expansion comes in three steps, he added, including learning to be responsive in a form of obedience, using skills and ability and learning to help others.
“Each of us is given something to do to establish a fingerprint for success by developing what God has put inside of us and when we do so, not only do we become productive individually, but we create an environment that is also productive for the good of others,” Fennell said.
Because of the inner inspiration that was given to the Christian Methodists Episcopal pastors that founded and developed Texas College, the institution today is historically preserved, fiscally sound and academically sound, Fennell said.
“Texas College today is endowed to have a brighter future — although the success for the college’s future is dependent upon the work that we do today,” he said.
The work done today must be mission-directed, planned, target measurable outcomes for accomplishment and work toward increased student engagement and facility improvement, Fennell said.
“Academically, we must take Texas College to new levels and new heights. Although we are academically sound, it is incumbent that we expand our programs for consideration of new majors that will lead to competitive job placement and higher wages earned by our students,” Fennell said.
“We must see into the future and prepare students for careers that have yet to be identified,” the president said, saying the college must teach the significance of entrepreneurship and technological development.
“Students, we must challenge you and raise the standards of the educational process so that you will be able to achieve higher levels of academic resolve beyond your personal expectations,” Fennell said, so that students can achieve a balanced intellectual growth that will take them to new heights.
“We must inspire and not discount those dreams that appear to be unattainable,” Fennell said. The college must teach the resourcefulness of how dreams can be fulfilled, he added.
“The future of Texas College must be one of enrollment growth and elevated student assistance and retention, increased graduation rates and greater placement rates in the job market,” Fennell said.
As the world is becoming smaller, Texas College students must see themselves as participants in the world market, he said.
As Texas College looks to its future, it must maintain a fiscal soundness while moving to a posture of having a surplus … expand its investment portfolio, grow the endowment, increase its cash flow and continue to operate with accountability. Fennell said.
The college must maintain adequate resources that will allow it to remain technologically sound with cutting edge resources, he said, observing that faculty and staff must embrace change in the teaching-learning process.
There must be facility improvements, which will also have an impact on improvement on teaching and learning, Fennell said.
The president noted that the college is beginning a multi-phase facility improvement program that is student centered and focused on improving student learning.
Among the first projects are improvements to the residence hall, construction of two residence halls, enhancement of the student learning center and dining hall, the addition of a music hall and improvement of the front entrance and providing more parking spaces.
The college has an obligation to students, faculty and the community to operate with a vision and faith, Fennell said.