HANCEVILLE, Ala.--Wallace State President Vicki Hawsey welcomed faculty and staff to the start of fall semester during Fall Convocation on Wednesday.
John Riley, keynote speaker, brought a message centered around hope and inspiration to the Wallace State employee gathering.
"The older I get the more I find that hope is a big thing," Riley said. "Without hope there is no determination."
Riley is a former all-Southeastern Conference Auburn football player, place kicker on the Auburn team of the Decade, and former Oakland Raider. He is a noted motivational speaker and humorist with 30 years of experience speaking to groups around the world.
During his discussion, he laid out what he considered the most important life elements-dreams and goals that demand your best, passion, focus, feedback from someone interested in seeing you succeed, optimism, and trust.
"Teachers," he said, "can get to people in a way that no one else can." He related the significance of each of those elements to the calling of being an educator. "You have to have a passion for teaching," he said. "And realize what a tremendous impact you have on the lives you touch."
Riley followed up the general session with a workshop designed specifically for faculty.
Following his speech to the group, Hawsey asked employees what their passion was, and they replied unrehearsed and in unison, "Students!"
Hawsey celebrated aloud some recent college accomplishments, including the achievement of faculty and staff computer competencies at a level that exceeds the college's Quality Enhancement Plan benchmarks.
She was especially pleased to announce the results of the college's recent annual audit in which no findings were reported.
"In today's climate to have a clean audit, with all the things the Alabama College System has been going through and all the things the auditors are now looking at, is almost unheard of," Hawsey said, relaying the sentiments she had been told by Larry Williard, head of education audits at the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts. She complimented the Business Office, Admissions, Financial Aid, Athletics, and the Bookstore, areas which undergo the most scrutiny, on their hard work and diligence in keeping accurate and detailed records.
"They are the persons who work everyday to make sure we maintain our history of clean audits," she said.
Hawsey also reviewed goals for the coming year as outlined in the college's strategic plan, including those for innovative learning environments, resource development, marketing and communications, and for an internationally recognized entrepreneurial learning college.
"We are looking forward to an exciting year as we continue our Learning College journey and implement our new strategic plan," she said.
The Wallace State Singers opened Fall Convocation by treating the audience to a selection of education related numbers, including the Jackson 5's "ABC." Breakfast was provided by the Alabama National Guard and Cullman Chick-Fil-A.
This week marks the official start of fall semester at Wallace State. Students moved into their dorms on Thursday, and classes begin today (Friday, Aug. 17). Registration will continue through August 23.