A former Davis & Elkins College tradition has returned to campus. On March 21, Hussain Hamide, an outstanding student presently in his junior year from San Antonio, Texas, became “President for a Day.”  For me, I temporarily relinquished my “day job” to assume the role of student. Our reversal of roles proved to be educational and fun for both Hussain and me.

For the remainder of this week’s column, Hussain is my guest writer. The following are his words describing the expanded vision of D&E he has following March 21, and the impact of his D&E education on his future.

As a business student, I have learned how people run organizations, the rules they must follow and how a management team with the right talents helps them keep things on track. In the back of my mind, I believed that running a business was easy – especially if you are a CEO or president because you have people working for you. On March 21, that idea completely changed.

Just one day taught me lessons in leadership and what truly happens behind the scenes at Davis & Elkins College. I met with each vice president and a couple department directors. I learned about the campus infrastructure, the importance of donors who make scholarships and other necessities for students possible, and the relationships the College holds with alumni. Most importantly, I learned how everyone’s jobs are connected and why it is essential for all of the campus to work together. If one thing goes wrong, it can affect what someone else is trying to accomplish.

Spending a day as president made me understand that, as students, we need to have more patience when we want campus projects completed. Even something that seems small can involve a lot more work than we realize. I got to take a walk around campus and hear an explanation of what it takes to maintain the buildings and general area. For repairs, many things have to be considered such as the weather, the cost and, because of COVID, shortages in the supply chain for materials.  

Everything the staff and faculty does at D&E is for the students – to make those four years of our lives the best they can be. For me, being in this small community in the mountains of West Virginia has given me many opportunities in education, athletics, building friendships and growing as a person. In this place I love to call home I have learned to have confidence in who I am. I have met many wonderful people whom I am proud to call mentors.

Before coming to D&E, I thought everyone had only one family. I was proven wrong. There truly is a D&E family of everyone looking out for you and helping you. I learned another part to that while spending a day as president. That family connection doesn’t end with graduation. D&E loves to keep in touch with alumni and help old friends reconnect.

This is the family I have made and trust here at D&E. It is the family I will keep, and for that I am grateful.

As President Wood says, our journey continues….

Chris A. Wood
Davis & Elkins College