When Charlie McCormick speaks at this month’s Chamber CoffeeTalk, he will share snippets of the past.
President of Schreiner University, McCormick wants to share the university’s history by passing around old photos taken throughout the institution’s almost 100 years.
“My favorite photo is one of a pole vaulter that was taken right when he was going over the edge of the bar, and there’s no mat underneath — just sand,” McCormick said.
During his presentation called “Schreiner University: Past, Present and Future,” McCormick said he wants to touch on three topics.
The first is Schreiner’s core commitments, which he said haven’t changed since its inception.
“They are not subject to the changing winds,” McCormick said.
Some of those key ideas are helping to develop students as people, cultivating them and being inclusive, he said.
“When people first started coming to Schreiner, they were sent here; they didn’t want to come here,” McCormick said. “But they talked about how the university gave them confidence.”
Years later, students are enrolled in Schreiner because they choose to. But the university doesn’t want to lose focus on giving them a quality education.
“We’re still passionate about students needing to be cultivated, and if we do it well, they will be competitive with graduates across the nation,” McCormick said.
It’s also important that Schreiner University doesn’t become an unwelcoming place, McCormick said.
“There’s this lack of preciousness — it’s never been in our history, and it won’t be in our future,” he said.
Also during the CoffeeTalk, McCormick will discuss the university’s strategic plan as it prepares for its 100th year anniversary in 2022-23.
“I want to talk about how this is a moment of crisis and opportunity, and I want people to understand how Schreiner is in the position for the future,” McCormick said.
He also said he wants to touch on the national trend of the decline of people enrolling in higher education.
According to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse, the number of people enrolling in higher education has decreased in the last eight years.
McCormick is not knew to speaking to the chamber. He did a CoffeeTalk a few years ago, but it’s focus was more on where Schreiner was at that point in time.
“I wanted to enlarge it and talk about where Schreiner is in the world of education,” he said.
McCormick wants people to take ownership of the university.
In September, Schreiner will invite the public to an open house to show off the campus and introduce people to the university.
“It’s their university,” McCormick said.
The CoffeeTalk will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce, 1700 Sidney Baker St.