There is no doubt that we are now experiencing the golden age of the College of Media & Communication.
As reported in these pages previously and highlighted in the current story about President Lawrence Schovanec's address to the faculty, students, staff and alumni at the luncheon for our National Advisory Board meeting, we are both the highest rated unit in research at Texas Tech University and have the highest level of retention of undergraduate students.
The pairing of these two statistics demonstrates the kind of complementary creativity and compassion manifested by all those who serve the mission of the college and Texas Tech.
But we never forget that whatever beautiful edifice of learning we are building now would not exist if it were not for the foundations laid with care and sacrifice in the past. Many of our current and former faculty and administrators toiled in a time of scarcity and limited opportunities for communication programs at Texas Tech.
Among the giants of the past whom we just recently lost and who is profiled here is Dr. Billy I. Ross. For those of you who did not know him, we list some major achievements of his career in the accompanying story.
Here I wanted to offer a personal observation because Dr. Ross was actually the first Texas Tech faculty member I ever met. He had retired from TTU and was serving as a consultant at Louisiana State University where I began my career in the mid 1990s. I got a chance to have many conversations with him. I immediately appreciated his dedication, discipline, and commitment to the virtues of higher education. He obviously had deep experience that he was able to share with a young faculty member who was still learning his craft. He was a role model to me for how administrators should interact with those they are trying to encourage and mentor. In short, long before I came to Texas Tech, now almost 6 years ago, I had met an example of a great and a good man who was proud of the institution he had helped build on the West Texas Plains.
We will always be grateful to Dr. Ross for his material accomplishments, but those of us who knew him as a person will also cherish the standard he set as a professional and as a colleague.