Greetings from your new president!
This almost sounds like I'm landing here from another planet. Actually, I'm returning to the place where it all started. Which is why I'm extending a heartfelt thank you for allowing me to come back to the campus where my future began.
As a first-time generation college student from southwest Arkansas, I am living proof that education and hard work pay off. No one in my family thought about college as a viable option until I was offered a basketball scholarship to Philander Smith College. My parents said "take it." I took it and never looked back. It was the first step in making a dream come true. Most high school students in 1985 from Old Washington, Ark., saw their futures unfold by either going to military or to manufacturing jobs right out of high school. I wanted something different.
This campus has been making dreams into realities for thousands of students since 1877. And I am among those whose dreams have been realized because of my time here. This campus is still in the business of shaping dreams into realities.
Philander Smith College has received a lot of strong press due to its students and past leadership. The next step is to continue that momentum while graduating academically accomplished students. The next thing in terms of vision is to make sure that during the course of this year we create a new strategic plan with academics at the forefront. It's time to step up, step out and prepare our students to step into their futures with solid skills and mindsets bent on creating jobs for themselves and others.
Dreams are still being realized here. Let's help our students realize their dreams through academic pursuits that makes the planet greater for us all. Maybe one day, one of them will return here to take my place or that of another president.
Let's take this campus to the next level and watch dream makers become our future leaders.
Johnny M. Moore, president, Ph.d