Remembering Ron Moffatt

April 24, 2008

By Eric White

Ron MoffattOn April 18, the field of international education lost one of our strongest and most compassionate leaders, Ron Moffatt, past president of NAFSA and Director of the International Student Center at San Diego State University.

Ron was a tireless advocate for NAFSA and international education. Last week he attended the Spring Planning Meeting for Region XI in Rhode Island. In March at the Asia Pacific Association of International Education Conference, he led a NAFSA panel presenting "Initiatives in Internationalizing U.S. Universities and Colleges."

Those NAFSAns who had the good fortune to be in attendance at the 2007 Washington Leadership Meeting got to hear Ron talk about what motivates him as an educator: advancing the causes of peace, justice, and human rights. "And for those of you who, like me, may sometimes wonder-how can we possibly do this, how can one person, or one community, or one organization, possibly make a difference with such huge issues on a global scale, allow me to remind you of the hummingbird that Wangari Maathai described in Montreal last May [2006]. Like the hummingbird putting out the wild fire with tiny drops of water, 'We each must do what we can.'"

Ron joined NAFSA in 1976 and held more than a dozen leadership positions at both the regional and national level. As the 2007 NAFSA president, he led the association's strategic planning process. This effort involved the Board of Directors and member leaders and culminated in a three year plan that is visionary and bold. He helped us all to challenge our assumptions and understand the critical role that each of us and NAFSA can play in a world with increasing interest and demand for international education and exchange and global workforce development.

A special remembrance for Ron will be made at the opening plenary session at the NAFSA Conference.

Everett Egginton, Dean of International and Border Programs, New Mexico State University
Marlene Johnson, NAFSA Executive Director & CEO


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