New Years Resolutions: A Conversation with Dr. Qubein

By Anne Davey, Staff Writer

February 6, 2013

Qubein_convo_1The New Year brings with it lots of things – glitz and glamour, increased interest in memberships at the gym, and of course the requisite New Year’s Resolutions.

Some resolutions last longer than others, and the glitz and glamour are shelved for another year. But most importantly, the New Year is a chance to refocus, to make strides towards achieving your dreams and reaffirming your goals. For High Point students, it is often too easy to overlook the great strides that our university has made. We know it as a wonderfully, beautiful campus with incredible faculty and diverse students, but it has changed greatly in the last seven years. This change has been led by HPU President Nido Qubein. The dreams and vision of our university’s president have put High Point on the map, but Qubein also sets a tone for the students of the university. He is known for his incredible vision and tenacity in sticking to his goals, and maybe we all have a little something to learn from him this year.

As we begin another new year, we all have goals and visions of our own, and Qubein is no exception. While his personal goals are largely like the rest of ours (to eat less french fries and wean himself off dessert), it is his dedication to these goals and his vision for our university that set his New Year’s resolutions apart. One thing remains the same, however, that sticking to goals is the best way to improve ourselves, and our lives, one year at a time.

When asked about the largest challenge he faces in his mission here at HPU, Qubein responded, “Higher education nationally is challenged with a struggling economy, increased skepticism from the media about college, and ever-changing global competition. Our challenge here is to maintain our standards of excellence, resource our academic programs, sustain our physical facilities, and work diligently to make a college education possible for those who wish to enroll at HPU.”

High Point has grown under Qubein’s tenure and continues to do so with plans in the works for massive qualitative growth in the fields of health sciences, pharmacy, music, communications and athletics, just to name a few.

The school is expanding and growing in all directions; it has potential to be even better than it is, and so do we. All of this, Qubein says, is made possible because, “We have great faculty that are focused on creating learning zones for students to become vertical thinkers, not merely casual observers.” Maybe this semester your goal is to achieve academically, to take part in these incredible expansions, if not, maybe it should be. Be inspired, inspired to get better grades or inspired to be a part of something bigger, to set sights on a graduate career, become the crew team’s number one fan or change your major. The freedom to choose makes being young so great, and 2013, as President Qubein says, is sure to be a good one, filled with growth.

High Point is made great not only by the faculty and environment, but most importantly by the students. “Academically,” Qubein says, “our students are shining nicely on so many fronts. In service and stewardship, HPU students are changing the world in small and in impactful ways.” High Point students really are changing the school, the community, and the world. As students, it’s often easy to fall out of touch with the goals and ideas of our leaders. So wrapped up in our daily lives, its easy to forget the exceptional environment we are blessed to be a part of. The new year isn’t simply about goals and vision, it’s also about being thankful. As students, we participate in charitable events all year, we donate money to hurricane relief and actively work with the United Way. This aspect of Qubein’s vision has been directly translated into our lives here. Serving others is a vital part of the High Point Community, from the staff to the students, all the way to the President who says, “I invest one-third of my life in learning, one-third in earning, and one-third in serving,” and lives by that motto every day. There is a lesson to be learned and great self-fulfillment to come out of service to others. Setting your sights on a year filled with serving and sharing is an important resolution, one that is easy enough to stick with in the incredible philanthropic environment of HPU.

Perhaps your resolution is a bit more personal, maybe you aspire to keep better company, or expand your circle of friends. Qubein says that the smartest decision he’s made is following his mother’s advice: “Who you spend time with is who you become; what you choose is what you get. Listen and learn and work at improving every day.” Especially for college students, now is the time to get out of your comfort zone, to be overly friendly, to meet new people, and surround yourself with those that will push you to be the best version of yourself.

“Build relational capital. Meet people. Get involved in activities. Serve others. Grow intellectually and spiritually. Be determined to be extraordinary.” These are the goals Qubein feels that students at High Point University should set to maximize their potential in college and throughout their lives. New Years resolutions come and go, but maybe with a little advice from Qubein, you’ll be inspired and motivated when you look around yourself at all that High Point has become.