Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 12, 2004
Newman College honours Kevin Carr
New leadership award named for former president
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
A natural born leader, Kevin Carr recognizes that any task can only be successfully accomplished by the dedicated service of others.
"I have been highly motivated by the conviction that as we grow and become successful collectively in improving our organizations, our society and our world, we are in reality following the Gospel message and building the kingdom of God," Carr said.
Newman Theological College is now accepting nominations for The Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award in honour of Carr, the college's seventh president (1993-2001). The award will recognize an individual whose outstanding Christian leadership reflects the values of Newman College and the qualities that Carr cherished and exhibited in his work as president.
There is no stipulation as to who can be nominated for the award, other than the person must have provided significant leadership toward creating a Christian culture, and whose leadership efforts have made a positive and lasting impact in Western and Northern Canada. Nominations are invited from individuals, businesses, organizations and community groups.
The award was an initiative by college faculty and staff and was announced at a recent reception in Carr's honour.
"I was certainly surprised and very honoured. I am grateful because I saw myself as working with them. I don't have any great exalted image of myself," said Carr, the first layperson to serve as president of the college.
"I am very humbled that they saw fit to name something after me, but I think my part was incidental," he said.
Carr said people, rather than policies, structures or incentives, are the keys to success.
"I recognize the significance and importance of people," he said. "The success of any endeavour you are approaching is dependent upon the people you are going to be working with. In my experience, I have found certain things that are necessary. One is to share the vision as we evolve together. You can't come in and say 'Here's the vision' and lay it on and then away we go. A vision isn't something you can capture and frame. It's ethereal."
The vision, or goal, is like a beacon calling people in a certain direction, Carr says. People then become committed and comfortable and excited in the vision and where things are going.
"As a leader, you recognize the strengths in your people and then you empower them to do their job. You don't tell them what to do. You let them use the talents and skills they possess. Many times some of the people might be brighter than you are," he said.
"And there's an accountability where you allow the person to do their job, but you also expect them to do it."
During Carr's tenure as president, a key component of the evolving vision of Newman College was that it saw itself serving the Church in Western Canada in every way possible. The expansion of programs was a way to carry out its mission to the Church.
"While I was at Newman, I think it unfolded where we were able to strengthen and renew in a good number of ways," Carr said, who attended the college as a mature student and later as a part-time instructor.
"I'm not big on the award being a reflection of me, but I think it can be a means of expressing the college and the values it holds. The emphasis should be on the recognition of a worthy individual. With that should be the recognition of the college and the work it does in association with St. Joseph Seminary."
Something that will strengthen the mission of the Church is the emergence of good leaders, Carr says. "The Church will need that, whether they are religious or lay people - whoever they are," he said.
"The strength of the Church is going to rest on whatever is humanly required in leadership. If Newman College can do something to foster leadership and in some ways inspire it, then it will serve its mission.
The Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award will be presented at a luncheon in the recipient's honour on Sept. 29.