West Virginia University President Gordon Gee often refers to his "coming home policy." But what is it? It's about bringing back native West Virginians home to help change the future of the university and state.
I think the state itself is calling her people home.
We recently had the communications expert Dan McGinn visit and he felt the call to come back to WV and help her people. Kathy Mattea, the country and western star, did too - as evidenced by her recent album and service to our state this weekend.
Gordon felt the calling.
Ditto for Dan Martich, one of my best friends who moved from UPMC and is now the Chief Medical Officer of WVU Medicine.
Leo Brancazio, the Chair of Ob-Gyn came back from Duke University.
So did I.
I couldn’t put my finger on it to begin with, but now I believe I am, in some ways, living Field of Dreams.
If you build it, he will come.
I am connected to our state through my parents and to many state leaders through my dad, Don Marsh.
As opposed to the storyline in "Field of Dreams," I don’t think my dad is coming back. I think the call back goes much deeper than just him.
My dad always stood for the weak and vulnerable.
He always had a voice and a passion for our beautiful state. Always believing in a rich and successful future.
But it is not only my dad. I feel that generations of West Virginia are speaking out to us, calling us back home to change the future for our next generations.
To reach our potential. To lead transformation and rebirth.
I think it is time for West Virginia to live in its majestic beauty and realize her potential.
Having time to do a lot of walking and reflecting in the state has reconnected me with the beauty and serenity that is here.
It is a spiritual and zen place.
I can feel this.
People everywhere are hungry for spiritual rebirth, like we are seeing in this Appalachian Spring.
They want a place of natural beauty with strong, honest people that truly care. They want community and meaning to life.
We have these in WV.
What if the meaning is to reconnect with our great foundational purpose, reconnect with the beauty of nature and to grow individually?
To come home and discover ourselves?
I think it may be.
I also think it is time for hope to replace anguish and fear.
It is time for love to replace hate and jealousy.
It is time we come together and invest in our people, their future and thus, the future of our state.
Abundance instead of scarcity.
Success instead of failure.
Education, jobs and health - the triad of our future.
West Virginia is in great transition and calling her sons and daughters home.
I for one am eternally grateful I answered.