As you start narrowing down your college choices, you might start hearing about the presidents of those universities. They may send e-mails or letters telling you all of the smart-sounding reasons why you should send in your deposit and go to this or that school. No one really thinks anything of it — you assume that the president didn’t write the letter himself, and that you’d never actually meet the president of whatever college you attend. You certainly wouldn’t expect to meet him during your orientation week.
I didn’t either.
Then, on maybe my third day at Transy, I went to a book discussion. (We all read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks over the summer and were assigned random groups when we got to school.) Every group was given an older student and faculty member to lead the discussion. Everyone else had a random professor.
My group’s discussion was lead by President R. Owen Williams.
He shook everyone’s hand, asked their names, and actively participated in our discussion about the book (which was great — check it out!)
And here’s where it gets creepy (I’m assuming). After the book discussion, I texted my parents to tell them that my group was lead by the university’s president, which they said was a cool perk of going to a small school like Transy. Sure, but I still thought that would be the end of it.
Since then, I have seen President Williams around campus so often! I’ve passed him while crossing North Broadway on the way to class, he eats in the Caf along with everybody else, goes to basketball games, etc. This seems like no big deal to everybody else — because it isn’t — and everyone thinks I’m weird for being surprised to see him anywhere. (My friend Katelyn knows about my strange fascination with this aspect of a small school, and now anytime she sees President Williams, she sends me a text.)
Let me attempt to save face here. It’s not like I freak out if I see President Williams from a far or rush up to bombard him with questions. I don’t stalk out his office or memorize his daily schedule (I actually don’t know where his office is). I just think it’s so cool that the president of the school is as accessible as he is. Is he playing pool with kids in the Campus Center, no (not that I’ve seen), but is he a presence in the Transy community outside of official events, yes.
I’d say this constant surprise is closer to the response when you see your teacher at the grocery store than it is to spotting the Kardashians getting out of a limo. I haven’t been at Transy long enough to have a passionate opinion about what President Williams has changed at Transy so far, though I do know he has big plans. All I’m saying is, it’s cool that he’s around. Just another small-school perk that I had never considered until I arrived!
Aaaand, to make me even more of a creeper, here’s a link for you to learn about President Williams. Then, if you happen to spot him while you’re here for a visit, you can recognize him too!