From the President

Dear Alumni and Friends,

After the death on April 18, 2011, of Nebraska Wesleyan University’s 14th President, John W. White, Jr. (’08 NWU Honorary L.H.D.), his wife, Marty White (’97 NWU Honorary L.H.D.), kindly gave me the copies of John’s speeches that he had kept at home during his retirement. I have been reading them, very much to my benefit.

I offer here a sampling of John’s observations made during just the first seven years of his 20 years of service to Nebraska Wesleyan. There is in John White’s words a wealth of wisdom for all of us to ponder and for all of us to imitate to the best of our ability.

Yours truly,
Frederik Ohles, President

“One must come to the college presidency with no delusions, but with great optimism.”
-Address to the faculty, August 1977

“Statistically, Nebraska Wesleyan is in the middle, but definitely not average.”
-Address to the faculty, August 1977

“A liberal education is designed to free one from man’s most subtle bondage, to free one from rote repetition of the past and from blind subjection to the unreasoned whims of chance, and to free one from the bondage of ignorance by enabling the full use of one’s God-given mind and talents.”
-Speech titled “A Private Commitment-A Public Trust,” April 1978

“One of an institution’s chief assets is its alumni, and strong institutions of higher education are strong for the simple reason that those who have benefited care that others have the same opportunity.”
-Speech titled “Alumni Make a Difference,” May 1979

“A charitable gift to a private institution helps it to operate; a charitable gift to a public institution adds cream to the cake.”
-Address to Nebraska Society of Anesthesiologists, April 1980

“While we are sharing visions of times past we ought also to realize that there is a vision from us of times yet to come.”
-Address at alumni banquet, May 1981

“Making life changing decisions and setting life shaping priorities encompass much more of our time than we realize, in something of a concentrated way, during these years in college.”
-President’s annual address, September 1981

“As the river of life flows, and eras pass, both on the great panorama of history and in our personal lives, we must change. We must rediscover who we are, in order to be the people we really should be and want to be in each new era.”
-Sermon, Trinity United Methodist Church in Lincoln, February 1982

“Sometimes we would wish to be able to look ahead and anticipate everything, but that is not possible, and we should be glad it is not. We must learn to live with uncertainty and even cherish it, because uncertainty generates creativity.”
-Matriculation Convocation, August 1982