One of the delights of what I do as a planning consultant is that I get to go back to school every autumn. When I was a child, my parents informed me that it would not be a question of whether I went to college, but which one. Little did anyone guess at the time there would have been so many since. I find it invigorating to be in new places and to come to know and understand new people and places. I have learned volumes on many topics from inspired and inspiring clients.
It is my pleasure to work with institutional leaders committed to a cause, who see and seek things that others around them do not yet envision. It is plainly fun to engage with a group of lively minds to sort through alternative solutions to achieve a new opportunity. The illustration accompanying this missive is a singular example showing the plan for the campus core at Spring Hill College. It is a digital rendering made for publication intending to summarize the collective interactions that led to the plan. A tracing paper sketch of the same core area of the campus appears on another page of this website. The sketch was generated in the meeting where the concept that became the plan was first discussed; it has a messy and impromptu liveliness reflecting the excitement of seeing a possibility that might work. Satellite images of this campus sector as it exists today can be viewed using Google or Bing, on-line testament to my clients’ effort and dedication to convince others of the new vision we developed together.
Over time, it is active engagements and trust developed by working together that lie at the core of productive outcomes. I recall the first time a college president introduced me to someone as a friend. It was for me a moment of pause and honor to consider what that word meant and the responsibility it would entail. In reminiscence, I rather think of all such similar experiences in what might be a Quakerish sense of being a Friend — a fellow traveler on the road to [creating] a better place.