HQ1 How would close friends describe you?
They would probably say I am down-to-earth, that I enjoy people and that I am determined and hardworking. I hope they would say I am generous and truly care for and respect others.
HQ2 What is something few people know about you?
I was a beekeeper in high school. I enjoyed the bees but as I was stung repeatedly over time, I developed an allergy and had to give it up. My dad, brother and I all joined in the harvesting of the honey, but I was the one who really drove the interest.
HQ3 What is your fondest childhood memory?
There are several and they all revolve around being with my family. I felt very secure and loved. We spent lots of time doing things together as a family. We had a boat and spent time fishing and water skiing.
HQ4 What is your greatest regret?
My greatest regret is not taking up a musical instrument. I love music. I wish I had signed up for band in junior high school.
HQ5 What is something you could talk about for hours?
Life in the South, both the good and bad. I’m a history buff. In my opinion, the South is truly the most interesting region of the country, with a very complicated and rich culture. Living here in Appalachia, which feels very southern to me, has given me an additional dimension to my conversation when it comes to talking about the region’s culture and history.
HQ6 For the perfect meal, what would be on the menu?
It would probably need to include some type of fish. I have loved fish and seafood my whole life. The meal would start with a salad and include some excellent French bread. There would also be some roasted vegetables and light pasta, followed by crème brûlée for dessert.
HQ7 What movie made you laugh the hardest?
“Napoleon Dynamite.” There are many standard comedic movies that amuse me but I seem to laugh hardest at odd comedies. “Napoleon Dynamite” was a very funny film about a nerdy teenager. As someone who is a bit nerdy myself, I could see the humor in the depiction of extreme nerdy-ness.
HQ8 Who is the one person, past or present, you would most like to meet?
I would say George Washington in the political realm. Washington had great ability as a leader, yet was humble and stoic. I think the historian Joseph Ellis reflected in a powerful way on the impact of the integrity and character of Washington when he wrote, “It seemed to me that Benjamin Franklin was wiser than Washington; Alexander Hamilton was more brilliant; John Adams was better read; Thomas Jefferson was more intellectually sophisticated; James Madison was more politically astute. Yet each and all of these prominent figures acknowledged that Washington was their unquestioned superior.” Of course, when talking with Washington, I would have to ask him about his close friend John Marshall. In the entertainment realm, it would have to be Frank Sinatra because I am such a fan of his music. I would be more interested in seeing him perform than actually talking to him.
HQ9 What song moves you the most?
I find it interesting that this is not “favorite” song, so I take the intent of the question to mean emotionally moved. I am moved by a number of songs in different genres and for various reasons. So, I would put on that list “We’ll Meet Again,” originally by Dame Vera Lynn but more recently by Johnny Cash, “Danny Boy” played on the bagpipes or sung by Johnny Cash, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, and “La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf.
HQ10 What are three books everyone should read?
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
“A Time to Kill” by John Grisham.
“His Excellency: George Washington” by Joseph Ellis.
HQ11 If you had a day off from work, what would you do?
I would probably go for a long ride on my bicycle, work in my garden or go fishing.
HQ12 If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Italy. I have been there several times and it is by far my favorite country.
HQ13 What irritates you the most?
I am irritated by obstinate and arrogant people who think that for whatever reason they are better than everyone else.
HQ14 What scares you the most?
The death of someone I love. As a child, I had a tremendous fear of losing my father. He passed away when I was 22 and it took me a long time to get over it.
HQ15 What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
The birth of a child. I saw the births of all three of my children.
HQ16 What talent would you like to possess?
I would like to be able to speak multiple languages fluently.
HQ17 What do you like most about Huntington?
I like the small-town feel of the city with the amenities of a much larger place. Ritter Park is a true jewel and the downtown is really inviting, with a number of outstanding restaurants. Of course, having Marshall as its university adds a great feel to the city.
HQ18 What is your favorite spot in West Virginia?
It would have to be the mountains in Pocahontas County. I first went there in 1973 as a delegate from Mississippi to the National Youth Science Camp, so it has a special place in my heart.
HQ19 What brings you the most joy?
What brings me the most joy is my wife, Leigh, my children, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter Eliza. I’m an optimistic, happy person, so I get a great deal of joy out of life.
HQ20 How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered by my academic peers as a scholar and an effective administrator with unquestionable integrity. I would like to be remembered by my friends as someone who treated people with respect, regardless of their educational or social status, age, beliefs or other characteristics. I would like to be remembered by my family as someone who cared for others, loved my family and valued its heritage.