Scott Andrews with his dogIn describing qualities of success, business mogul (and McDonald’s founder) Ray Kroc stated that “the quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” This quote could just as easily apply to Grantham University’s newly-minted President and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Andrews.

In his first 120 days, Andrews has set the bar high not only for those around him, but also for himself. And he continues to seek new opportunities for growth and innovation for Grantham and its students.

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with President Andrews to learn more about his life and how he came to take the helm at Grantham.

Grantham University: Where are you from and where did you develop your passion for leadership?

Scott Andrews: I was born in Richmond, Virginia. I grew up there and went to the same school for 13 years. I played competitive tennis, starting at age 4. I used to train every morning, even in the frigid Virginia winters. I have a passion for sports, and played competitively all through high school … football, basketball, tennis. I feel like sports are a great equalizer and require an understanding of how you fit into a team, which directly correlates to a number of positive characteristics for developing high-performing leaders.

GU: Did you ever believe that you would end up being a college president?

SA: Originally, that was not in the cards, but interestingly enough I attended the Halftime Institute in 2016. The primary thesis of the institute is that no matter who or where you are, there is a phase in your life when you look at what you have done professionally or personally and you ask yourself, “Is that it?” Am I truly pursuing my passion? Halftime helped me explore where my true passions were so I could dedicate the next chapter of my life to marrying my skills and experience to where those passions reside. I won't say that (my current job) ended up being exactly derivative of that, but this was such a unique opportunity that I knew it was going to be my next chapter. For me, this opportunity was about my passion to cultivate leaders in a high-performing culture, while positively impacting lives through that passion.

GU: How do you feel your career has prepared you for this opportunity?

SA: First of all, being a part of small and large organizations alike, I have seen different attributes that have taught me valuable lessons about how each might be successfully led. Secondly, having ownership in some of those business ventures, whether it be sitting on the board or being in leadership, I feel that I have been able to see different corporate cultural aspects that benefit and some that hinder. Most importantly though, through my experiences, I feel I was able to learn the importance of keeping my ego in check. If that wasn't the case, there’s a possibility that the decisions I’ve made could be filtered through the wrong lens.

GU: Do you have a favorite snack food?

SA: Peanut M&M’s

GU: What are the top three items on your personal bucket list?

SA: Watch the Virginia Cavaliers win a national basketball championship, visit the Galapagos Islands or travel near the Antarctic region … and I look forward to my first grandchild and being able to experience all that entails from a new perspective as a grandparent.

GU: Do you have a favorite quote?

SA: It would be the one I referred to in my commencement speech by ten-time NCAA champion basketball coach John Wooden, "Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts." I love basketball instruction, I wanted to be a basketball coach. I love the way it matches intensity, teamwork and individual responsibility. When I go to a game, I sit right next to the team and I’ll watch the game, but I watch just as intently the coaches when the student athletes are substituting and how the coaches are teaching. The range of emotions and outcomes during a game are great instructions for life’s lessons.

GU: Who is your favorite current basketball coach?

SA: Tony Bennett, the University of Virginia coach. Tony is very competitive, but you rarely see him lose his composure. I am so impressed by Tony’s ability to balance his faith and intensity in a way that models humility.

GU: What is your most important goal as president?

SA: The first is to bring the team to a cohesive vision on what Grantham University may be. I love that our focus is on reinvigorating student success because it is the foundation of what we do each day.

GU: How about hobbies, or things you like to do outside of work?

SA: I still play tennis competitively, and I love spending time with my yellow lab, Nahla. Most importantly, I cherish the time (I get to spend) with family, as our children are all out of the nest.

GU: If there was just one thing you’d want our readers to take away from this introduction, what would it be?

SA: I hope they understand that my goal of being in this position is to serve the University, our team and students in a way that allows each individual to flourish and grow. That requires servant leadership, a common vision, and a transparent culture. If we get those areas right, the student-centric experience will prosper.

A note to students: If you are interested in engaging with President Andrews about your insights and suggestions toward the betterment of the Grantham community, there are opportunities every month in our President’s Office Hours, or you can directly email President Andrews at gupresident@grantham.edu. These Office Hours appointments are fifteen minutes long, and occur by teleconference. Watch for ongoing opportunities to sign up soon!

Hallie RogersAbout Hallie Rogers

Hallie Rogers, communications associate, is part of Grantham University's editorial board. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science and government from Kansas State University and her MBA from Grantham.

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