By ADAM FALLUJI – STAFF WRITER
At the epicenter of the Centre community there exists a position reserved for one who exemplifies the characteristics of a true product of Centre and who serves as a beacon for its students. Filling this role so that the dream of Centre’s ultimate potential may be realized is President John Roush.
President Roush came to Centre bearing a diverse skill set stemming from an extensive background of involvement in higher-education, beginning his studies at Miami University in Ohio in 1972. He has embarked on numerous other endeavors, such as service in the military as a captain in the United States Army.
Supplementing his efforts at Centre, President Roush regularly contributes to professional journals that pertain to leadership, governance, finance in higher education, as well as intercollegiate sport. He is involved in numerous professional boards and organizations as well as civic and community affairs, including the Presbyterian Church.
In addition to managing numerous administrative responsibilities that come with being a college president, President Roush consistently makes an effort to be a part of the campus community.
On a good weather day, President Roush can be seen biking around campus, asking students he passes how they are doing, and frequently makes an appearance in the Sutcliffe gym as well as at athletic events, cheering on his team as any member of the student body would or even leading the fight song.
“I take the responsibility I’ve been given here at Centre and what I do here very seriously. But at the same time, I try not to take myself too seriously. I certainly want to be successful but I firmly believe that if at the end of the day things don’t go exactly how I want them too, it’s okay, because our lives and the work we do are a process- a journey,” President Roush said.
“My time at Centre has been a great adventure for me, and, I think that perspective gives me a certain freedom.”
President Roush maintains clear focus on every aspect of his life, both professional and personal.
“The most important job I’ve ever had was trying to be a good dad,” President Roush said. “Susie and I are immensely proud of our two wonderful sons and their families.”
In regards to his expansive role at Centre, President Roush has a unique perspective.
“I never imagined I’d be a college president when I was your age. I imagined myself playing for six to eight years in the NFL, then getting involved in education, likely as a teacher of English. Neither of those happened. Being here at Centre is a huge honor, and while I know how to work hard and have been given a good mind, I believe I’ve been immensely fortunate in my life,” President Roush said. “I was fortunate to meet my wife Susie as a freshman in college – first day of class in the lunch line. Truth be told, I believe almost all the time I’ve been lucky or blessed, depending on one’s point of view.”
When asked about the driving force behind his efforts on campus, President Roush pointed to the community around him.
“Susie and I take such great joy in watching you students learn and compete and perform and play. The opportunity to be around you students and the faculty and staff gives me the chance to play a role in making a difference for good,” President Roush said. “Susie has had a pivotal role in my life, as have the men and women who work alongside me. I am quick to add that nobody works for me. We all work for the college, and with the remarkable faculty and staff on Centre’s team, it’s no wonder I have enjoyed some measure of success.”
While Centre’s successes grow with each passing year, President Roush asserts that the school’s potential still has room to soar.
“As good as we are right now at Centre, and we are really good, the best days are still ahead of the college,” he said. “This is truly a tribute to the trustees, the faculty, the staff, and the students. Regarding you students, I am of the strong opinion that the quality of work and service you students will contribute to our nation and our world is going to be even greater than all those who preceded you. I’m pretty sure about that.”