August 19, 2011
For Immediate Release
Hilda Legg, second from left, receives the Campbellsville University Leadership Award at the annual
CU staff workshop Aug. 19. Making the presentation were from left: Benji Kelly, vice president for
development; Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic; and John Chowning, vice president
for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Christina Kern)
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Hilda Legg, a 1974 graduate of Campbellsville University who has served in the Rural Utilities Service and in the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C., told about 150 Campbellsville University staff members they are all leaders at the annual staff workshop in the Ransdell Chapel Aug. 19.
Legg serves as a consultant in Rural Economic Development with emphasis in telecommunications deployment in rural America.
“There’s no place more exciting than the beginning of a school year in August on a college campus,” she said.
Referencing the university’s Vision 2025, which focuses on developing and graduating servant leaders, Legg said there were three points she wanted to leave with the audience.
| Hilda Legg tells the CU staff they are all
leaders. (Campbellsville University Photo by
“Everyone in this room is a leader,” she said. She urged the staff to “accept your place in the world. Own it! Present and future leaders are right here, right now!”
Legg said true leaders are servant leaders. She pointed out CU’s Vision 2025’s idea is to graduate Christian servant leaders to place those students in the world.
She shared from John 13: 3-5 when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and from John 13: 12-17 when Jesus said, “for I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” Legg said, “Lead by example.”
She said leadership is one of the difficult words to define, but you know it when you see it. She said leadership for the future requires the same characteristics as leadership in the past.
As a former teacher, Legg urged the staff to think of words that exemplify leadership, which included: humility, empowerment, visionary, loyalty, encouragement, support, confidence, love, compassion and courage.
She told the staff they needed commitment and courage to believe in themselves. “A leader doesn’t necessarily have all the answers,” she said, “but the work you do will teach you how to do it.”
“When you roll up your sleeves and get involved in something you get it done,” she said.
“As you do your work every day at CU, you will be presented with opportunities to lead, to be a servant leader,” she said.
She urged the staff to take time to interact with a student, a new colleague or a first-time, stressed out freshman.
“One student at a time; you can make a difference; you can serve,” she said. “Each student that you encounter may be ‘that one’ that you feed – spiritually, emotionally, academically or lovingly.”
Legg said when you teach your son, you teach your son’s son. When you lead, you make a difference in generations to come. “That is your legacy as a servant leader.”
“Your role as a servant leader doesn’t stop at the end of the campus. It is who you are, who you were created to be. It is your purpose; it is your impact on the future,” Legg said.
She said she was grateful for what she learned at CU – including that from professors Carlos Anderson and the late Bobby Himes. She said both of them taught her to make a difference in the world.
“Never in a million years, would I believe I would have stood in the Capitol as the number two person at the Appalachian Regional Commission,” she said, but she said Christian servant leaders at CU lit that spark for her.
“None of you are insignificant,” she said, “All of and each of you is important.”
Legg was presented the Campbellsville University Leadership Award for her career work. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, and who has been a friend of Legg’s for 40 years; Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academics, and Benji Kelly, vice president for development, made the presentation.
Legg has recently assumed the post of vice chair of Broadband Properties Magazine.
President George W. Bush appointed her and she was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the United States Senate on Sept. 27, 2001 as she administered a $6 billion loan and grant program for the infrastructure needs of rural America through Water and Environmental, Telecommunications and Rural Electrification Programs.
In 1990, she was appointed by President George Bush as alternate federal co-chairman for the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington.
She entered public service in Washington from serving seven years as executive director and chief executive officer of The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky., which is considered a national model for economic development.
Legg served as director of admissions and a faculty member at Lindsey Wilson College and served as a field representative in the Bowling Green office of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. She served in the Ronald Reagan administration at the U.S. Department of Education.
She started her professional career as a teacher in the Adair County Schools and is certified both as an administrator and counselor. She received her master’s degree at Western Kentucky University and finished the senior executive program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
She is the mother of Dane, an 11-year-old who is a student at Somerset Christian Academy.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.