August 24, 2010
Celebrating 15 Years of Developing Leaders Who Serve
August 1, 2010 marked the fifteenth anniversary for the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program at Geneva College. That was the day we opened our office and began the process of implementing a graduate degree program that was four years in the making. Our vision was that, by God′s grace, the experience would be transformational for the people who would graduate from the program.
At that time, programs like the MSOL were relatively rare. During the process of developing the idea of a graduate program with "leadership" in the title, we found only three such programs that existed among colleges and universities in the United States. So we understood that our MSOL Program was not only unique but also rather unknown as a graduate degree option.
We started our first cohort in February, 1996, and by the end of the year, five cohorts were meeting at several locations within the Greater Pittsburgh area. We were very fortunate to have brought on board several very gifted and resilient faculty and staff who set the tone for and weathered the storms of starting a new academic program. Along with the students who "took a chance" by enrolling in a new graduate degree program, they were truly the "pioneers" of the MSOL Program.
One of our first milestones was reached in May, 1998, when 49 MSOL students walked across the stage and received their hoods and diplomas. What a wonderful event it was. In 2002, the MSOL Program was honored by being designated as the recipient of the "Academy of Educational Leadership′s Award for Innovative and Creative Education" given by the Allied Academies, an academic organization that represents several hundred scholars from a variety of college and universities across the world. January 18, 2005 marked the start of our 50th cohort. This past May 2010, we witnessed the graduation of our 812th MSOL student. On June 2, 2010, we started our 75th cohort in Johnstown, PA.
It is hard to believe. Six students enrolled in Cohort 01 in February, 1996 and now we have 812 folks who number among MSOL alumni - leaders who we trust have been positively affected by their experience in the MSOL Program. To all of our graduates, faculty and staff, past and present, we say a very heartfelt "thank you."
Through it all, God has been THE source of strength and provision for those of us associated with the administration and delivery of the MSOL Program. This verse from the New Testament book of Ephesians and well known benediction is an appropriate way to close this account and for this time of celebrating our 15th year of providing this transforming leadership program:
"Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."