In a keynote address today to over 200 social work practitioners, educators, and supporters, President Rodney Bennett was an instant hit with his command of facts demonstrating the scope, impact, and critical significance of the profession to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi, and the nation.
The occasion was the 3rd annual Betty Spencer Memorial Social Work Luncheon, produced by the Gulf Coast program unit of the state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and held at the Great Southern Club in Gulfport. Honoring the life and work of Ms. Spencer, who led a distinguished career and helped launch social work education at Southern Miss’ Gulf Park campus in 1996, the annual event recognizes the achievements of outstanding Gulf Coast social workers.
Also speaking from the university were Dr. Frances Lucas, who provided a sparkling introduction of USM’s affable and engaging new president, and yours truly, paying homage to Betty Spencer’s fearless commitment to truth-telling in service of change. But President Bennett had the best lines and hit all the right notes. It’s very good to have a president who “gets” social work.