As a part of his first visit to campus, President-elect Scogin had dinner with representatives from Multicultural Student Organizations (MSOs), GRACES, GLOBE, and 95 Stories. The dinner had been scheduled for a long time, but it, unfortunately, fell on a day in which classes were canceled, for Wednesday, that afternoon. As a result, the campus itself was empty, with a few brave souls going outside to brave the harsh elements to make it to the dinner.
It, fortunately, provided students with something to eat and take their mind off of a dizzying start to a weird week. The dinner was a great opportunity for members of students organizations to meet and greet Scogin. Hope worked tirelessly, through a rigorous selection process, to find Scogin. But in order for the President to be successful, he has to connect to the students, which is why this meet and greet event was so important. The dinner was held last week Tuesday at the Haworth Inn & Conference Center. Along with the food, Scogin got to know the students, listen to their perspectives and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions of him. Many insightful questions were asked as Scogin and the students were eating. These focused mainly on diversity and inclusion, two topics that are important parts of the Hope community.
Even though some of the students at the dinner are set to graduate in 2019, many of the students are still underclassmen, which means that his tenure will have a direct impact on them. After dinner, some students walked away optimistic about the future. When he was introduced as the next president on Dec. 7 of last year, board chair Karl Droppers gave Scogin a raving review: “As a strategic thinker who has worked on the most important economic and social issues facing our nation, Matt will bring intellectual depth and visionary leadership to Hope College. Matt personifies the mission of Hope, as he has led a life of leadership and service at the highest levels of business and government.” Scogin received his undergraduate education here at Hope, then he moved on to Harvard and into the finance sector. He got an opportunity to talk a little bit about his experiences to students at the dinner, as the students themselves settled in and got more comfortable with the President-Elect.
Meeting with organizations at the dinner allowed Scogin to gauge the interest of the students and creating lines of dialogue early will allow him to get things done. Along with the insight provided by Scogin and attendees, the dinner was delicious! There is a lot to be excited for when July 1 rolls around because Hope will continue to rise and move forward. Scogin will be a young president that hopefully can change things for the better, in the future. You can find the quotes from this article and more information about Scogin on Hope’s website and watch out for updates as July 1 approaches. As President Scogin prepares in a couple months to assume leadership if you have an opportunity to connect with him, do it! It is worthwhile.