A tag team of the Fulton College’s leadership presented December’s college lecture for new students on the topic of leadership.
Freshmen and first-year transfer students filled the JSB auditorium to listen to Alan Parkinson, dean of the Fulton College; Spencer Magleby, associate dean; and Val Hawks, director of the School of Technology.
Parkinson spoke first, giving the students a brief recap of the great progress in engineering and technology over the past 50 years. He hoped to demonstrate to students how engineers and technologists are the ones responsible to take on the world’s “grand challenges.”
"I want you students to think of the fact that you can change the world,” Parkinson said, telling the students that they, as engineering and technology students at BYU, were uniquely qualified to make a difference and to help find solutions to the world’s problems.
“We encourage you to become leaders,” Parkinson continued. “That doesn’t mean you have to become a CEO; what that means is that you will be able to influence the people around you for good.”
That phrase rang true to Tanner Hardy, a freshman from California studying chemical engineering. “We hear about being a leader by example a lot in church, but it’s not something we discuss much in school. I guess it’s true though; you don’t have to accomplish some monumental task to be a great leader, you just have to contribute and encourage others to do the same.”
Val Hawks encouraged those students who feel they don’t have what it takes to be an effective leader. He asked the students to consider whether great leaders were born or made and told them, contrary to popular belief, the answer is both. Some people are born with valuable leadership qualities, Hawks said, “but study after study has proven that all these things can be learned.”
The most important quality of a leader, Hawks said, is personal development. The ethics and values which a leader espouses are what “make the difference between a Gandhi and a Genghis Kahn.”Spencer Magleby reaffirmed the teachings of his associates and then outlined for students the Fulton College’s plans to help them become leaders. From leadership classes and projects to extracurricular organizations and study abroad opportunities where students can put their leadership skills to the test, the Fulton College provides an excellent environment for developing leadership.