I Believe….!

“Every time I hear a new-born baby cry, or touch a leaf, or see the sky, then I know why…I Believe!”        Written by Drake, Graham, Shirl, and Stillman

This is my day of departure from Virginia and Tennessee and it has been very productive and fun overall. I had the very wonderful pleasure to actually meet both Casey and Xavier. My individual meetings Casey

with both allowed me to get to know each a little better. I am very impressed with the caliber of these students. They will leave in a few weeks for Copey with enthusiasm, confidence, knowledge, and some special talents the Copey community and the students will enjoy. My visits with them convinced me that their time in Copey will result in


very positive impacts that will lead the way for future Bonner students to follow. I continue to express my heartfelt gratitude for Dr. Gaia, Dr. Ramirez, Michael  Guess, Angela, and others who have gone beyond the “call of duty” to establish these “pathways” of opportunities.


As a side note, my time on campus attending meetings and interacting with my associates as we perform our duties as Board of Trustees, deepens my  love and respect for this college. College President Jake Schrum, the faculty, and staff all work tirelessly to make Emory & Henry College a very special and unique place to learn and work.

Related, please recall I mentioned last week that I had a very special experience flying into Tri-Cities, Tennessee. I indicated wanting to tell you about Makayla Hilt. First, understand that I travel across the country several times each year to fulfill my duties as a Trustee and see my family. I  see and meet interesting people at times along the way. On the last leg of my trip from Atlanta to Tri-Cities, Tennessee, I was seated next to a young lady. I was tired from a long day of travel and she also appeared tired (sleeping) as I sat down. It was that somewhat awkward moment when you question whether to bother someone, be courteous, or just show some sign of good ole southern style breeding by saying “hello”. Afterall, I am sort of in the South. Well, I said “hello”. She responded with a very surprising and energetic “hello” and it no longer seemed that we were too tired to talk. I soon discovered of all things, she was a senior at Emory & Henry College. In all of my years traveling to this area, I have never met a current student from E&H College. I have met others who knew of the college and maybe even graduated, but I never met a current E&H college student.

Hilt Family

Being a trustee having a chance encounter of this nature is one of the most rewarding experiences I could have. I was sitting with a student extremely positive about the college and to hear her perspectives and impressions of the college was pure joy. Makayla has a few weeks before she marches at graduation and will continue work towards her Masters degree. All this brought about unspeakable pride in Makayla and my college.

I fully enjoyed our time together and as an added bonus, I was privileged to meet both parents after we departed the plane. These  proud parents encouraged Makayla to attend E&H College although it was only about 15 miles from her home. They are now witnessing the developing promise of an excellent education and the positive future for their daughter. I thank them for putting their faith in our college. Although I will not be in attendance at graduation, I will be sharing their day of joy and pride for Makayla. I am a proud parent who had a son graduate from E&H College and I assure all parents of graduates, it will be an unforgettable day.

I am thankful two tired travelers were not too tired to speak to one another. So whenever you may be flying into Tri-Cities, Tennessee, say hello to the one sitting next to you. You may find the journey can be as great as your destination…especially if the someone is affiliated with E&H College.

One added feature to this trip included a quick visit with my lifelong friend Curtis “Duck” Montgomery. Some have been introduced Curtis Montgomery

to “Duck” or already knew of his notoriety. He resides only about 20 minutes from the E&H College campus. He will be 101 years of age in July. He is amazing and continues to enjoy his sharpness of mind and that very familiar sense of humor he has long been known for. “Duck”…Keep on Pushing”!

To learn more about “Duck” click on the links http://friendsofcopey.com/2015/11/09/saluting-great-americans/ and link  http://friendsofcopey.com/2014/11/09/special-veterans-day-message/.

There is so much to share following a week like this. Before closing, be alerted that I will announce this week the start-up of our campaign to raise money for Angela, Celeste, and Noelia’s travel cost to E&H College in June. I spoke to several of my colleagues while on campus and several reported their interest and support. We are ready to move forward with our plans. Next week I will make the official announcement in my Post and will keep you informed of our progress. Keep your prayers and positive thoughts flowing. Our goal is to have the donations be as close to 100% E&H College donors but nothing will be turned away. Specific instructions for donating will be provided next week.

In closing, I thank my son, daughter-in-law, and my three wonderful grand-kids for taking such good care of me on this trip. In the throes of very serious medical issues confronting my daughter-in-law, the family somehow manages to keep it all together and deals with life one day at a time.

Yes, I know why I believe!



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