Aug. 18, 2016
For Immediate Release
|Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University addresses to Rogers Scholars about the changing world. (The Center for Rural Development Photo)
By Joan C. McKinney, coordinating director
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University president Michael V. Carter spoke to 32 Rogers Scholars recently about the changing world and what their place will be in it.
The session was at Lindsey Wilson College in which Carter spoke to the students who are members of the Center for Rural Development’s flagship youth program, the Rogers Scholars, that provides leadership and college scholarship opportunities to help upcoming high school juniors in Southern and Eastern Kentucky develop the skills they need to seize their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.
Using a conversational tone, Carter, a sociologist, shared his perceptions about some of the macro-societal trends taking place in our country and in our world.
Carter used his perspective to do some futuristic speculation.
“I am approaching you as bright, young talented, pre-college students who are curious and interested to know about the challenges you will face and how to begin to plan for a future,” Carter said.
He said our personalities are molded by certain determinants in three major categories: genetics, environment and events/occurrences.
He said our DNA sets certain boundaries on who we are, what we look like and even our susceptibility to disease and illness. He said our environment socializes us with family, friends, school, church and others, and he said events and occurrences have shaped who he is and how he’s lived.
He said his favorite movie is “We Are Marshall,” and he discussed this true story about how the plane crash Nov. 14, 1970 when Marshall University lost 75 people (36 football players, boosters and crew) in the worst sports tragedy in American history.
Carter said he and his family lived six miles from the plane crash, and that night he and two friends made it to the foot of the hill where the plane was burning.
He said he and his family are “in the movie, not literally, but we were there. I saw the smoke, I smelled the burning plane, heard and witnessed the pain of the university, a city and state.”
“I cannot watch the movie and keep emotion from overwhelming me,” he said.
Carter said hardly a day passes when, at some point during the day, an image crosses his mind, either a conversation or a reminder of that night and the events that followed.
“It has affected who I am and how I have lived my life,” Carter said.
“I saw how quickly life can be taken, how much death hurts and the resolve to come back from tragedy and move to new levels of success,” he said.
Carter challenged the students to think about the world economic system and the geo-political environments of our world today and tomorrow.
He said our economy is “truly a world economic system.” He said the United States leads the world in the gross national product.
He said the quest for safe water is going to become the next major resource much like oil is today.
“The role of work is changing rapidly in the developed world,” he said. He said power and who can control will be an issue for all of our lives.
Carter told the students we must still manage the aspects of the social and cultural experience that make us human. “The religious belief and culture must be managed. These are the items that will be much more difficult as we face future changes,” he said.
He said we must learn how to manage leisure and work, and also deal with the drug problems in the world.
“The numbers are staggering,” he said. In the United States, there are appropriately three million people who suffer from substance abuse with about 30 million worldwide.
He said his belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ encourages him to be truthful, honest, placing others first, caring, forgiving, loving even when it is not socially acceptable, and being part of a community that places these values into action.
Carter told the students, “I hope you look upon the challenges of the future as just that – challenges. These present opportunities to lead to improve the human condition.”
Carter’s wife, Debbie, attended the meeting. She was his high school sweetheart, and they have three children, two of whom are married, and all of whom are professionals in higher education. Mrs. Carter is a licensed professional social worker and part of the Carver School of Social Work at Campbellsville University.
They both attended Marshall University, had a family and Carter did graduate study in Boston at Andover-Newton Theological School, and obtained a master’s in sociology from Marshall.
He pastored a rural American Baptist Church in West Virginia, and then received a Ph.D. in sociology from The Ohio State University. He served in various churches as well.
Carter is beginning his 18th year as president of Campbellsville University.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.