Pacesetter - Winter 2010 - President's Message

President's Message

Jesus and Vince (Lombardi)

Training is not the whole point. The whole point is good people.

At Kettering College, teachers, faculty and staff set their sights on a goal anyone can understand: superior graduates. By this, we mean graduates who know what they’re doing in the healthcare workplace — and who do it out of heartfelt passion for service and health.

Saying this is easy. Succeeding isn’t.

More than a year ago, the board of directors asked the College to think again about the work that we do here: “The mission statement says you are educating students into health care as a life calling. As you do this, what are your dreams? What are your highest ambitions? What do you really hope for?”

A conversation ensued. Everyone at the College got a chance to chime in. What came out of it was the new vision statement I was alluding to at the beginning. The board endorsed it, and now this defining document spells out our highest ambitions, briefly and memorably: “Innovation. Superior graduates. Passion for service and health.”

We dream of graduates who shine like the stars. We want them to shine because they’ve got the knowledge and skills they need — and because they really care about service and good health.

Do graduates like these grow on trees? Will this dream come to pass just because we hope it will? No.

That’s why we’re also ambitious about innovation. We must be relentless about improving how we learn, and improving how we teach and interact with the students we send off to the front lines of human need.

It’s a lot to wish for, a lot to take on. I can practically hear you saying, “Hey, that vision
statement is way over the top. You want graduates — and employees — who are … well, who are practically like Jesus. If you believe all that will happen, you’re dreaming.”

Yes, a vision like the one we’ve adopted is a stretch. But this brings to mind Vince Lombardi, the storied coach of the Green Bay Packers. He said that if you aim for perfection, you’re bound to be disappointed. He famously added, “But if you chase perfection, you’ll catch excellence.”