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Jamie Lucero, NAADA President
Building our future but never forgetting our past…
Two of my favorite things about working at a land-grant institution are the history and tradition that come with 145 years of educating young minds. Our Corps of Cadets leadership development program is a driving force of carrying on the traditions of our institution while also melding with the traditions of our civilian student population. Although I didn’t attend Virginia Tech as an undergraduate, it didn’t take long as an employee to get swept up in the Hokie Nation. Virginia also happens to be a state that doesn’t shy away from the role it played in the history of our country. So needless to say, I’m surrounded by history and tradition each and every day as I’m sure many of you are at your respective land-grants.
With that daily influence and the recent passing of Mauri Williamson, I’ve been reflecting on the history of NAADA. I pulled out my copy of NAADA at 30, a history of our organization penned by Mauri. I purchased it at my first NAADA conference in 2006. I admit it’s been 10 years since I last read it. I share below an excerpt from NAADA at 30:
NAADA at 30
Before I begin this treatise, I must tell you that I make no guarantee as to the accuracy of every detail. In the beginning, written details are sketchy. Printed programs were nonexistent. We had little in the way of written records. The simple fact is apparent, however, that the movement was strong and those involved moved ahead by the strength of their resolve, not as a result of any remembrance of the past.
In actuality, National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association (NAADA) was conceived at a University of Kentucky football game where Dave Pfendler and Mauri Williamson were made Honorary Kentucky Colonels, an odd citation for a couple of Hoosiers. Conversation led to one thing and another, and they finally decided that we needed to get together more often- and invite some others, too. Consequently, a passel of Deans and Ag Administrators met that next January where talk turned into action and some sort of informal organization was on its way.
January 15 to 17, 1976
A few Land Grant agriculture schools with interests in trading information on ag alumni affairs were invited to Purdue to attend their famous (or is it infamous) Fish Fry and to talk shop. Rick Daluge (just a boy then), Wisconsin; Bob LaPrad, Michigan State; Chuck Lindley, Mississippi State; Paul Appel, Kentucky and Mauri Williamson from Purdue attended.
Informal discussions were sufficiently productive to warrant doing it again. Mauri Williamson was chosen to organize the meeting for the next year, a practice that prevailed for several years. Rick Daluge, Bob LaPrad, Chuck Lindley, Paul Appel, and Mari Williamson were designated the organizers of the session for the next year and are considered to be the founders of the movement.
Dean Dave Pfender was not at the first meeting but his major power permeated the meeting. Any of you who ever had Dave as your counselor and had every organ of your body shredded by his vitreous analysis of your indolent study habits can well appreciate the power that he held over these students who were his responsibility. I did.
Even at this early point, a singularity of purpose bonded the group. They all were fervent believers in the Land Grant system which provided a firm platform on which a structure for future activities of this group could be built.
The pioneer strength that was forged by our forefathers heavily influenced the Land Grant movement, and the earthy determination of early leaders in the Schools of Agriculture to be the true husbandmen of the land and of our young people establishing their goals. The goals for our organization and this small group of pioneers were already written. All we had to do was harness a structure that would effectively produce constructive results. Here’s a prediction. Success lies at our feet, and we will accept the challenge.
One program was instituted at the first meeting that continues to this day. “Beg, Borrow, and Steal” was as useful then as it is for us today.
The die was cast. With warm greetings and hearty handshakes, those fine, new-found friends resolved to meet again next year… same time and same place. A wonderful nameless venture was born!
From our beginning our founders were all bonded by the deep belief in the land-grant system. To this day, this belief still bonds all of us. Our unselfish desire to help others has kept “Beg, Borrow, and Steal” one of the most valued sessions of our conference and our professional connections and friendships grow stronger each year.
At each conference, members of the executive team host a lunch for past-presidents. This provides us a wonderful opportunity to revisit the trials and tribulations along with the celebrations they experienced during their leadership. We seek their council when we need sound advice. But I must confess that beyond that lunch I haven’t been diligent about learning all I can about our history from these selfless volunteers for our organization. And sadly, I didn’t take the opportunity to spend enough time with Mauri before his passing. Many of you were in Texas in 2015 when we celebrated our 40th anniversary. We took some time to reflect and inducted the inaugural class into the Mulberry Honor Society. But let’s not stop there - moving forward let’s all take time to know our history. I vow to make time to learn our history so I can pass it onto our future members.
As stewards of this organization, we also have the responsibility to ensure its future. It’s up to all of us to bring new ideas and new people to the table. Our membership committee has been hard at work preparing videos for membership recruitment and to promote the annual conference. Check them out on our NAADA YouTube channel and share them broadly with your colleagues. The videos tell our story beautifully --- professional development, networks, friendships, and all the other great things NAADA has to offer. Kudos to Kim O’Neill and her membership committee and team at University of Idaho for their work on these videos and thanks to everyone who took the time to be interviewed at last year’s conference. Now go out there and recruit a new member to join and come to Columbus!
In each of our NAADA institutions, there are countless individuals who work hard to advance our missions, and to make our programs possible. And each year, there are a few special individuals who have gone above and beyond to make exceptional contributions to the university, to the stakeholders we serve, and to the NAADA community.
There is no better way to thank your colleagues, volunteers and donors for their contributions than by nominating them for a NAADA Individual Award. These awards bring national recognition to the professional staff, volunteers, alumni, and philanthropists who have contributed to your university’s successes. They are a wonderful way to pay tribute to the award winners, and to build stronger ties with the alumni and friends honored with awards. Award winners will be recognized at the 2017 NAADA Annual Conference at the Ohio State University.
Please make it a priority to nominate one or more individuals from your institution. If you nominated someone last year who was not selected and you want to re-nominate them, please submit a new form. Please click here for more information on the Individual Awards program. A listing of previous winners is available on the NAADA website. Nominations are being accepted for the following awards:
The deadline for nominations is April 7, 2017. Contact Jordan Moseley with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to celebrating your staff members, alumni, friends and donors at the NAADA Annual Conference in Columbus!
The 2017 NAADA Publication and Projects Award Competition is now accepting submissions. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your college’s greatest achievements over the last year. Make sure to recognize the excellent work your staff has accomplished by nominating their publication or project for one of NAADA’s prestigious awards. All material must be received by Friday, March 17, 2017, 5:00 p.m. CT, to be eligible for the competition. The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at the NAADA Annual Conference in Columbus, OH June 12-16, 2017.
Publications & Projects will again be recognized in the following categories. A full explanation is available HERE.
More information and nomination forms are available HERE. As with previous years, both electronic and hardcopy submissions are accepted. Complete submission label and address information can be found through the link above.
Don’t miss this opportunity to have your college recognized as one of the best agricultural institutions in the country!
Deadline: March 17, 2017
If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact Publication and Project Competition Chair, Paula Beecher at email@example.com or 864-656-6340.
The NAADA Executive and Nominating Committees needs your input on potential candidates for committee chairs and officer positions with terms beginning at the conclusion of the Annual Conference in 2017. Please take a 5 minute survey by following this link.
Board officer positions are two-year terms. The officer positions of Secretary and Treasurer are up for election this year.
For more details on the roles of the committee chairs and officers, see the Board Standard Operating Procedure found here.
Please share names of those you consider potential great leaders for NAADA. Include a brief description as to why you would have the nominee(s) considered. Self-nominations are welcomed. Track Representative nominations will be handled separately.
I look forward to your nominations.
Chair, 2017 Nominating Committee
The 2017 sponsorship opportunities have been released. Make plans now for your university to be represented among the list of sponsoring organizations for the event. Over the past few years this sponsorship program has evolved to increase the value to your organization for supporting this event. See below for full details on the commitment level and return on investment:
In 2016, 11 of our institutional members supported the organization with a sponsorship. Will you join that growing list in 2017?
Help us welcome our new NAADA member. Feel free to drop them a note of welcome!
Cassanda Puskala, Michigan State University