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Looking Forward, with John Hennessy

Looking Forward, with John Hennessy

With scholars now on campus, building a community is the focus.
John Hennessy at Knight-Hennessy Scholar Orientation
Photo: Holly Hernandez

John Hennessy reflects on the importance of community, how to teach leadership skills creatively, and the program's first fellow-in-residence.  

Do you think differently about the future of the program now that the first cohort of scholars is finally here?

JH: We're certainly thinking very deeply about how the scholar experience should evolve. We feel even more strongly than before that the experiences that will matter the most will probably be experiential in nature. I think we've come to the understanding that helping the scholars build their community is going to be even more important, influential, and beneficial than we perhaps imagined at the beginning.

Will scholars have a chance to learn more about the leadership traits you discuss in your book, "Leading Matters: Lessons from My Journey"?

JH: Hopefully scholars will be able to meet people who model characteristics that are important for successful leadership, as well as learn strategies for getting things done. Just the other day when Rob Kapilow was talking about music and understanding, I think he, as a conductor, alluded to the issue of collaboration, and the ability of the orchestra members to collaborate with one another. They make the music together, but the role of the conductor is very subtle. It's really up to the musicians to play as one. In creative ways, I think we are seeing how some of the traits described in the book are applicable, and the different ways they can be applied in solving real problems.

The first fellow-in-residence, John Hale, will be on campus in winter quarter. What can scholars expect from his visit?

JH: John Hale is one of the best speakers I have ever heard in terms of being able to connect with an audience. He tells stories with tremendous energy, enthusiasm, power, and subtlety. He's going to be teaching a course on great speakers and speeches that will illustrate techniques to develop the content of a speech, and refine the delivery method. This course will be a special opportunity to learn ways of developing those skills. But John will also have the opportunity to get to know the scholars in person, and talk about his other academic interests, which happen to be in archeology.

Connect with Knight-Hennessy Scholars for email updates about the program and scholars.

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