An Ode to the Past, and a Beacon for the Future An Ode to the Past, and a Beacon for the Future

Channeling his icon and inspiration Ric Flair, outgoing TACAC President Mickey Saloma lifted his title belt above his head to the roaring approval of over 700 colleagues. The belt, a gift for a year of hard work, camaraderie, and more hard work, was presented to Saloma during the passing of the gavel.

“I’m not going to cry because it’s over,” Saloma said, passing the gavel to new President Micah Lyles. “I’m going to smile because it happened.” 

That moment captures the essence and ethos of TACAC’s 2019 conference, a three-day celebration of all the hard work the association’s members have done, and a call to action for all the challenges we as colleagues will conquer in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

“We have a lot of work today,” Lyles said to the college and admission counselors gathered for the lunch hour-turned-general assembly. “And I look forward to doing it with you.”

From Sunday, March 24 through Tuesday, March 26, hundreds of dedicated professionals descended upon Dallas’ Renaissance Hotel for three days of reflection, realignment and refining. Sessions tackled everything from supporting transgender students throughout the college admissions process to evaluating how we can make the college search journey less stressful for students and their families. The conference began with an energetic First Timers Meeting where dozens of young professionals and conference first-timers packed the house and made new friends, and ended with a productive work day as TACAC committee members answered their new president’s call to get involved. In between, awards were doled out to veterans and newcomers, including profession legend Nan Davis.

 “You’re all my mentors,” Davis said as she accepted the Lynn Slaughter Mentorship award. “I’m amazed by what you do for our students, and I’m thankful for everything you’ve given me.

That spirit of gratitude echoed in every toast, every speech, and every session. At the same time, the record-breaking number of conference attendees unanimously agreed to remain as committed as ever to the service of students and families, and to growing the profession we all hold dear.

“What we do is now more important than ever,” said Stephen Pultz, AVP of Enrollment at the University of San Diego and a visiting representative from NACAC’s Board of Directors. As he updated the assembly on recent NACAC developments, he addressed the ongoing fallout from the recent college admissions scandal. “We are under attack, and we need dedicated professionals like yourself to guide the way forward.”

Micah Lyles echoed Pultz as he accepted the President’s gavel and looked toward the future with hope and dedication.

“We have much to do, but I can’t think of a better group to do it with.”

Now is your chance to get involved: click here to learn more about the open leadership positions within TACAC.



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