Mississippi College Alumni Magazine | Summer 2011

From the President

Lee Gardner Royce

This issue of the Beacon focuses on entrepreneurs, those people who are willing to take risks to pursue the careers, ideas, or passions in which they believe.

When asked to name an entrepreneur I admire, I think of Thomas Edison. What impresses me most about Edison is not the success of his many inventions, from the light bulb to the stock ticker, or the many businesses he launched, but his remarkable ability to persevere. Edison patented more than a thousand inventions, but he failed more times than he succeeded. After more than 150 failed attempts, you can imagine his friends and family saying, “Come on, Tom. A glass bulb that lights up? Get serious.” Edison had the tenacity to continue not only through failure, but also through doubt and ridicule.

Every university encourages entrepreneurship in some way – after all, what university doesn’t want to be considered the training ground of the next Fred Smith, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs? But I believe that as a Christian university, it is even more important for Mississippi College to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, as that same attitude of innovation is required to project the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the world is indifferent or hostile to Christianity, it takes an entrepreneurial spirit to find new ways to get the message across. Whether that’s achieved through plastic worms, pimento cheese, a greeting card, or a concept still to be imagined, the Mississippi College family has proven its ability to find a way, often in the face of the same doubt and ridicule experienced by innovative entrepreneurs and daring disciples throughout history.

I hope the following pages will inspire your own entrepreneurial spirit and that whatever career, idea, or passion you are moved to pursue, your greatest goal is to someday hear the words from the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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