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Volume 83 | Issue 2
March 2015

What a Year!

Kim Harrington, Georgia Institute of Technology

kim harrington 2015 mugshotAre you who you were a year ago? I came across this question on Pinterest while waiting in line at my boys’ school. As I drove to the office and considered the question, I reflected on this remarkable year. I found this question particularly compelling because I often challenge myself, my children, and my team at Georgia Tech to welcome new opportunities and set annual stretch goals. 

At my core, I am the same person I was a year ago. My values, priorities, fears, and strengths remain constant. The drive my family instilled in me to always do my best, as well as my desire to see the good in every situation, guide me daily. Also, as my occasional participation in social media #TBTs demonstrates, the same shy grin in elementary school photos greets me in the mirror each morning.

However, this year in particular has been professionally transformational. The opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees at this time in our association’s history has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. As we celebrated our 100th anniversary, I was reminded of our rich history and developed a deeper appreciation for the significance college unions and activities have on campus and in student life. I am incredibly proud of the role we played (and continue to play) in advocating for students and helping them find their voice.

This year, we participated in a 100-hour service pledge where many of our local communities were indelibly affected by the work and contributions of our members. We planned, executed, and attended regional conferences, welcoming record numbers under our new structure, and the Board of Trustees selected John Taylor to serve as ACUI’s new chief executive officer.

What a year!

One of the highlights this year was the distinct pleasure of working side by side with Marsha Herman-Betzen in her last year as executive director/chief executive officer. Marsha is a gifted and passionate leader, and I have learned a great deal from her. Her wisdom and humor will continue to inspire me for years to come. Marsha shared a Dr. Seuss quote early last year that is especially poignant to me now: “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Marsha, thank you for your friendship, partnership, and the wonderful memories we created this year. I wish you the absolute best in your retirement.

ACUI, thank you for selecting me to serve as president of this wonderful association at such a special time in our history. The experiences this opportunity has afforded me have shaped me in ways I could not have predicted. I am not who I was a year ago. I am wiser and more empowered to advance community and support student life on campus than ever before. I look forward with great enthusiasm to what’s in store for ACUI in the years to come.