FlipSide Face

FlipSide Face

by Emily SalbergStaff Writer

Looking for an on-campus way to fight global warming? Then look no further than Jerry Kelley, the newly appointed Executive Assistant to the President whose main responsibility includes helping Simpson reach its goals concerning the recent American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment.

In a step towards sustainability for the community and for the college Indianola’s Mayor, Jerry Kelley, was appointed to direct Simpson’s pursuit of going green. Kelley said that he believes both the city of Indianola and the college need to look to the future and not be afraid of the change that will come with the Climate Commitment.

“To help people understand that we are not wedded to the past will help the future make better decisions, better use of the planet and better use of our lives,” Kelley said. “Things change. So let’s take control of that change and make a difference.”

The Iowa City native has always allowed public service to be a driving force within his life. As a former student at Simpson College, Kelley kept himself active by helping to write the constitution for Student Government and bringing Model UN to life.

“At that time, Simpson encouraged you to find out who you were. No one said to me ‘you have to do things this way.’ It was an environment conducive to inspiring change,” Kelley said.

After graduating from Simpson with a degree in English Literature, he went on to become an Indianola junior high English instructor. After many years of educating young minds, he then decided it was time to heed his own advice given to his students – to go out into the real world, and create change.

“The attitude now is, ‘What can I do for us?’ I felt that affecting change from the mayor’s position was the best way I could help,” Kelley said.

According to Kelley, his new position as the Executive Assistant to President Byrd has created a direct line of communication between the community of Indianola and the community of Simpson College. He feels that the goals of sustainability can only work if both sides come together, bridge the gaps and build a generation of cooperation.

“Don’t grow out of being an idealist,” Kelley said. “Adults and authority figures have obligations to present opportunity for people. We must ask ourselves, ‘What can we do now to help the future?'”