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Letter from former Student Body President Ray Harrell

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 23:05

“The world still is the same, you’ll never change it.” These are the words from one of my favorite songs by the famous crooner, Dean Martin. And although I tend to agree with him on most things, I must respectfully disagree with Dino, for the most part, on this one.

I’ve often heard that success can be measured simply by whether or not you left something better than you found it. After having the privilege of serving in the Student Government Association for the past four years, I believe that with the diligence, collaboration, and perseverance between me and the dozens of individuals I was able to serve with throughout that time, we have been able to leave Marshall University better than we found it.

As outlined in the editorial published this week, we have been very fortunate in our efforts, particularly over the past two years. But these accomplishments are certainly not all mine. The credit is undoubtedly shared between two Vice Presidents, Executive Cabinets, and sessions of Senate that I have served with over that time, and I am incredibly grateful for their dedication to our student body. These successes also would not have been possible without the unwavering receptiveness and willingness to work together exhibited by our President, Board of Governors, deans, faculty, staff, and others - I sincerely thank you all. Despite these achievements, there is always more work to be done, and I have full faith in the ability of the Hassan/Lyons Administration to continue our efforts. EJ and Ashley, I look forward to watching your progress over the coming year.

In addition to the substantial projects and initiatives that have been completed, the individual interactions that I have had with students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and numerous members of the Huntington and Marshall communities have made all the difference. I will never be able to fully describe the multitude of emotions I have felt from these conversations. Imagine being able to thank a group of Foundation donors for their millions of dollars in support on behalf of all students; a family member of the 1970 plane crash thanking you for planning such a beautiful ceremony with tears streaming down their face; or a student simply thanking you for taking time out of your day to explain some aspect of the university of which they weren’t familiar - these make it all worth it.

Although not all of us may go out and necessarily change the “world,” there is no group of people I have more confidence in than the Sons and Daughters of Marshall University. After interacting with you all throughout my tenure here, I am more proud than ever to say that I am a member of the Marshall Family. Being able to serve as your president has truly been the most rewarding experience of my short life, and I will always be grateful for your support.  A sincere thanks also must go out to my parents, girlfriend, family, friends, advisers, and all of the others I have been surrounded by throughout my collegiate career. To those reading this, I look forward to crossing paths with many of you in the future, and wish everyone the best on their endeavors.

We Are Strong, We Are Unified, and We Are Marshall.

Yours in Marshall University,
Raymond Harrell, Jr.

Student Body President & Board of Governors Representative 2011-2013

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