Dr. Kent Ingle didn’t begin his career in academia and never imagined he would end up the president of one of the country’s fastest-growing universities.
He started out as a television sports anchor in Southern California. In his former career, he interviewed the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pete Rose, Muhammad Ali, and Carl Lewis for NBC and CBS.
Ingle began his career in the media at the ripe age of 18 and progressed to the non-profit sector where he started leading turnaround organizations, taking them from decline to growth. Steering a 180 shift from his media career, his career path then launched a more than three-decade career in the ministry and non-profit sector leading turnaround organizations, ultimately culminating in him becoming Southeastern University’s 15th president in 2011.
Today, as the President of Southeastern University, he knows he is precisely where he needs to be — leading change amongst the next generation of leaders, helping them gain all the tools they need for success, and positively impacting thousands of lives each day.
A Day in His Life
Ingle is helping to build a transformational new education model — one that trains students to be leaders of industry as well as ministry and a force in important new facets of higher education in America, such as graduating students with less debt and stress.
“At SEU, we are working to create communicational impact and begin new conversations about what higher education can and should be — including affordability and accessibility,” he said.
To be fair, Ingle says that life on campus at SEU must be experienced to truly understand. From the world-class faculty to the record-setting and enthusiastic student body, he believes that the university radiates positivity and hope for the future.
Though not every student attends SEU in person — as the university also offers online classes and courses at off-campus locations — Ingle recommends education on the campus to any student that can manage it. He says that both the degree and the connections made with fellow students on campus and staff are nothing short of life-changing.
A Passionate Storyteller
It might sound like something out of a movie, but Ingle got his break on TV as a sports broadcaster at just 18 years old. He was working as an intern and had such potential that he won an on-air job. His passion for storytelling made him a hit with audiences across America.
Being a committed and entertaining storyteller is a skill that’s only grown in the years since his TV days. But, these days, he tells profound stories that impact people’s lives instead of explaining passes and plays.
“People thought I was crazy when I changed careers and went into ministry leadership. I started pastoring, built a church, and quickly realized that the two careers have something in common: storytelling in a way that grabs your audience and stays with them. I can tell stories that teach people and help them to see how to be better at being who they are and recognizing their unique gifts and talents,” said Ingle.
Feet on the Ground
Anyone who has ever attended a university knows that the organization’s president is often someone you’ll never meet face-to-face in four years. That’s not so at SEU. Ingle believes that the only way he can invoke transformational growth and change in the student body is to get to know them.
He can often be found walking through the common areas, asking students what’s on their minds and how their classes are going.
“Ultimately, that’s what university presidents should do; we are here to help them become what they are destined to become. That’s what drives me,” he said.
And so far, he’s making good on his words. Today, SEU is among the country’s fastest-growing universities, changing the shape of higher education for the better and aiming to create a world of educated, passionate, and knowledgeable people.
With educators like Ingle at the cutting edge of higher education, we’re sure that the country’s college grads will continue to shine.
About Dr. Kent Ingle
Dr. Kent Ingle is the President of Southeastern University, author, public speaker and recognized thought leader. Ingle is passionate about creating lasting change in higher education and setting up organizations for success. To learn more about Dr. Kent Ingle, please visit www.kentingle.com
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