Friends and family, colleagues, and former students of James Vick gathered in Jester for the dedication of the James W. Vick Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling. During his 40-year career at the university, Vick’s work as a stellar teacher and innovative administrator forever changed the student experience. It is fitting that this space, a hub of student activity and guidance, is now named in his honor.
Inaugural Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies Paul Woodruff and Brent Iverson, the current dean, spoke about Vick’s legacy before unveiling the center’s new signage. “Jim lives all the qualities the rest of us are trying to model for our students: integrity, curiosity about the world, a knack for fearless leadership, and a deep desire to serve others,” Dean Iverson said.
While the center’s name was swiftly approved by President Bill Powers last year, the School of Undergraduate Studies could not make it official until Vick retired from teaching on August 31. “While his retirement presents a clear disadvantage to future students, the naming of the center allows the university community to continue to celebrate the amazing imprint Dr. Vick leaves on the university,” Woodruff said.
In the spring of 2009, the School of Undergraduate Studies created the Center for Strategic Advising to guide and support students exploring majors and careers at the university. The first class of over 700 undeclared Undergraduate Studies students entered UT in the fall of 2009 and were advised by the new center’s team of five advisors, including the Assistant Dean for Advising David Spight, in a temporary office on the fourth floor of the Flawn Academic Center.