Kathleen’s Farewell

Dear TFC Family,

After many years of comings and goings of students, it is now my time to take my leave from this special campfire, where we’ve all come for varied and rich seasons to seek and find inspiration, to invest ourselves, to contribute our gifts and our time, to be pushed and challenged, to rest, to grow, to reflect on why and who and how we’re becoming the leaders of impact we hope to be. Together.

Thank you for the invitation to tend this flame with you, to hold the light and warmth and the relationships it nurtures. Grad school is a beautiful time set apart to learn and seek to integrate our values with our work. The TFC has provided a sacred space to explore how we as individuals engage in the world, in organizations, in communities as agents of change.

I am better for my time here with you, and it has been my distinct honor to watch you flourish (and even occasionally productively struggle) in this good and hard work. Work that is, in Bart Victor’s words, the work worth doing. That work has entailed envisioning and leading conferences and pitch competitions, joining and sticking with cohorts, day trips and weekends away to experience new and unique people/places/organizations, and sitting around a table with peers from around the world to discern a client’s need, the Center’s direction, or simply breaking bread together.

To the partners and people who have opened doors and opportunities for our students (and me!), thank you. Your “yes”, your curiosity, and your extensions of classrooms into your communities, organizations, coffeeshops, and board rooms means more than we’ll both know on our students’ paths and leadership.

To the students to come – welcome! May this place and set of experiences shape and bless you on your path into continued impact, renewed hope, deeper challenge, and amazing connection. May you steward the Center’s growth and goodness as you make it your own.

With love,



Kathleen will be starting a new role as Senior Director of Community Relations in Vanderbilt University’s Division of Government and Community Relations. Read more here.