by GSBC President Michael L. Stevens

It has been nearly a year since the GSBC Board of Trustees adopted our new strategic plan, which affirmed our commitment to building leaders for community banks. On the surface this does not seem to be revolutionary. When you consider the significant change in the number and size of banks and the changing face of bank competition, we could have fundamentally changed our market focus. Affirming our commitment to community bank leaders provides a very clear priority and purpose that remains true to our legacy. GSBC is, and will continue to be, America’s Premier Community Banking School.

This does not mean ‘business as usual’ for GSBC, however. Over the last year, we have worked diligently to define the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ this renewed focus requires.

What does it mean to attend GSBC? What type of experience are we committed to providing? What type of banker are we seeking to create? How are we going to develop these community bank leaders?

What is the GSBC Experience?

Working with our alumni, we first sought to discern the GSBC experience. We did not have any perceived notion of the outcome or even what we wanted it to look like. Certainly, we did not expect it to be defined with one word: transformation. You have likely seen this in our marketing materials for this summer’s school session, and let me assure you, it is not purely a marketing campaign—it is the essence of the GSBC experience.

The word came from the reflections of various alumni as they talked about the transformation that occurred for them personally, professionally, for their banks and their communities upon graduating from GSBC. These reflections are sometimes spoken with determination and certainty, other times with excitement and passion and occasionally, raw emotion. The GSBC Experience transforms.

GSBC’s Curriculum Philosophy

The next objective was to establish our curriculum philosophy, which the Board of Trustees approved in March. This document establishes how GSBC will fulfill its mission of developing community bank leaders by continuing this legacy of transformation. As we move forward into the next phases of the strategic plan, the GSBC Curriculum Philosophy will serve as an important cornerstone. Our talented and committed faculty need to understand our objective and how we desire to achieve it, and GSBC students and prospects deserve to know what to expect from us so they can begin to create a vision and plan for their own future. We will be writing about the details and publishing the document on our website in the coming months.

Where are we Going from Here?

We have many more initiatives to share that demonstrate how this work will impact curriculum. We are excited about the contribution GSBC can make to this very important industry.

Michael Stevens, GSBC President