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Catawba's New President Stresses Teamwork during His Installation Address

February 18, 2009

Category: Events

Dr. W. Craig TurnerWhen Catawba College's 21st President, Dr. W. Craig Turner, made remarks during his installation ceremony on President's Day, Monday, February 16, 2009, he spoke of teamwork.  "Great teams," he said, "build great institutions."  Turner then expanded on some of the positive attributes of good teams.

A good team has trust in its fellow members, appreciates individuality, acknowledges and accepts conflict, is committed to the team, is accountable, measures itself by collective results, recognizes the necessity for and adjusts to change, and lastly, Turner said, a good team must be ready and willing to act.

"Effective, quality teamwork sounds relatively simple, but we all know that it requires us to surrender something of our professional egos at times, to disappoint those on our smaller teams at times, to get outside ourselves and our comfort zones at times, in other words to act unnaturally," he continued.

Installation Program

"What we do at Catawba is very important: we seek to bring about change in individuals and in society at large.   We are in the opportunity business: we open doors of unlimited opportunity for our students — we have no idea how they can impact the world."

Turner cited 1951 remarks made by former Catawba College President A. R. Keppel to then College trustees: " 'Although this has been and is the most difficult year of my administration, and although and because many problems had to be faced, it is my unqualified opinion that our greatest challenge now is to press forward. Only as we set our sights above the obstacles that confront us can we hope to surmount them.' "

"I can readily identify with President Keppel," Turner explained.   "This has been the most challenging year of my professional career. Today, however, I stand proudly and humbly before you as the 21st president of Catawba College, confident in the knowledge that we are positioned on the brink of taking our next major step as an institution of higher learning.   Although and because there remain difficult and trying days ahead of us, I believe that it is critical that we — together as a team-- make certain that our steps are forward and upward."



Installation Highlights
Delegates representing 69 colleges, universities and learned societies processed along trustees, faculty, faculty emeriti and students during the ceremony held on President's Day in Keppel Auditorium. Paul Fisher, the new chairman of the College Board of Trustees, officiated, while in the audience were former Catawba College Presidents Dr. Robert Knott and Fred Corriher and former Catawba College First Lady Jean Wurster, the widow of Dr. Stephen Wurster.

Turner, who joined the Catawba on June 1, was selected as the college's president from more than 156 candidates. His appointment was announced in February 2008 after trustees approved a recommendation by the College's Presidential Search Committee.

Turner, who was in his seventh year as President of Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) in Abilene, Texas, succeeded Dr. Robert E. Knott who retired in May 2008 after six years of service to Catawba.


PhotosPHOTOS: Catawba's 21st President Installed

VideoVIDEO: Installation Highlights

ReadDr. Turner's Installation Address  (PDF)