Focus, fearlessness, family and the future — all characteristics of golden eagles — resonated as the theme of Tennessee Tech University President Phil Oldham’s investiture address on November 2, 2012.
About 2,000 attendees attended the formal investiture, which included Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan administering the oath of office to Oldham, TTU’s ninth president.
Oldham spoke about the challenges facing higher education across the state and nation, countering with his vision for meeting those challenges.
“This is our time, our place and our opportunity to make a real difference in relevant areas such as public health and wellness, educational attainment, 21st century manufacturing, advanced energy sources and management technologies, new technologies for economic growth and job creation, and community leadership development.
“We must set our sights high to be nationally competitive, but always with a local impact that starts at home.”
Oldham asked the audience to consider approaching opportunities as golden eagles, long the symbol of Tennessee Tech. He stressed the focus eagles have, relating it to the need for the university to have a clear vision with a strategic focus.
He said that like the fearless eagle, Tennessee Tech must be bold and fearless in efforts to successfully compete in a rapidly changing environment.
“Eagles mate for life,” he said. “Even though eagles can have a range of hundreds of miles, they always return home."
“Similarly, Tennessee Tech must never forget who we are and where we live. Our range is extensive, but our impact always starts at home.”
Oldham concluded by looking to the future.
“Eagles do not dwell in the past. They actively live in the present and continually prepare for the future,” he said. “Now is definitely not the time to nostalgically look to recreate the past. Like the eagle, Tennessee Tech must courageously face the realities of the present and future and aggressively prepare for new challenges."
Students, faculty, staff, family, friends, former colleagues, and TBR and Tennessee Higher Education Commission leaders attended the ceremony led by regent Tom Griscom. Also in attendance were the past four presidents of TTU: Bob Bell, Angelo Volpe, Wallace Prescott and Arliss Roaden.
To read Dr. Oldham's investiture speech, download the PDF here.