09/27/06 — Big shoes to fill: Dr. Ed Wilson will leave his mark at Wayne Community

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Big shoes to fill: Dr. Ed Wilson will leave his mark at Wayne Community

The easiest way to find a true leader is to ask him the secret to the success of the organization he directs.

The response won’t include his name — or too many of the words “I,” “my” and “me.”

Such is the case with Wayne Community College’s president Dr. Ed Wilson.

Most of the hard work is done by his faculty and staff, he would say — and the supportive Board of Trustees is also the reason he has been able to accomplish so much, he would add.

And then there are the stories about the students he loves. He is as proud of their accomplishments as he is of the college’s. Just ask him and he will tell you how much they inspire him, every day.

Dr. Wilson has decided that this is going to be his last year at the helm of Wayne Community College. And that news is bittersweet for anyone who has ties to the college or who is lucky enough to have met him.

His retirement is a blessing in that he will be able to “play ball with his grandchildren,” a luxury not afforded to busy college presidents.

But Dr. Wilson’s absence from Wayne Community College will leave a void of enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to the purpose that has become the hallmark at the college — offering everyone the chance to get the education they need to achieve their dreams.

That noble goal — and the means and opportunity to pursue it — are the gifts Dr. Wilson will have left the college and his community when he retires next June.

If you don’t know Dr. Wilson from his work at Wayne Community College, you probably have met him in his activities with many of the charitable organizations in the community.

If there is somewhere where he can offer guidance or lend a hand, Dr. Wilson is there. He says his retirement will allow him to continue that work and that he will remain an active member of this community.

That is the best news Wayne County has heard in a long time.

If you know Dr. Wilson well, you know that he has been reading this and blushing a bit and muttering some under his breath about how little he deserves the accolades.

“I was just doing my job. There are many more people who deserve this kind of tribute,” he is probably saying.

And he is probably silently making a list of those names.

That is why he is and has been a leader who will leave a significant mark on this community.

Dr. Wilson knows it takes a team to build a college and a community.

His shoes will be hard to fill, whether he is willing to admit it or not.

Published in Editorials on September 27, 2006 10:31 AM