Honors Student Jimmy Donlon to Serve as Chancellor for the Day

Honors College Fellow Jimmy Donlon will get hands-on leadership experience on Monday.
Chieko Hara, University Relations

Honors College Fellow Jimmy Donlon will get hands-on leadership experience on Monday.

Come Monday, there will be a new chancellor in charge … for the day. Meet Honors College Fellow Jimmy Donlon, a marketing and management major from Memphis, Tennessee, who is humbled by the opportunity to serve as chancellor for the day on Monday, Oct. 18.

"It's a great responsibility, not one that I take lightly," Donlon said when reached earlier this week. He has big plans for Monday, when he will meet with faculty, students and the campus' top administrators to listen, take notes and report back to interim Chancellor Charles Robinson. He's not forgotten the promises made in his campaign video, though.

"My schedule is packed, so I don't know that I'll get a slide down Dickson built in one day, but I'll talk with Chancellor Robinson about that," he joked.

Donlon put together a campaign video to compete for the coveted post and emerged as the frontrunner, no doubt in part to a plug by head basketball coach Eric Musselman. 

"Officially, I was at the HPER, and coach Musselman said, 'whoa, that kid can hoop!'" Donlon said. "Seriously, thanks to coach Musselman, who probably doesn't remember sending me that video two years ago," he added.

Donlon will in fact be busy on Monday, attending back-to-back meetings throughout the day. In the morning, he will preside at the first part of the U of A's Executive Committee meeting, then meet with Associated Student Government President Coleman Warren and other student leaders. He will dine with deans and other administrators in the Fowler House Conservatory, with Honors College Dean Lynda Coon hosting the luncheon.

After lunch, Donlon will repair to the chancellor's fourth-floor corner suite in the Administration Building, where he will hold office hours, meeting with students from across campus. He will also meet with U of A vice provosts and other constituent groups, wrapping up the day with a brief meeting and photo session with Chancellor Robinson.

Long term, Donlon is passionate about effecting change. For his honors thesis, featured in the 2021 issue of A+, the Honors College magazine, he partnered with Goodwill Industries to extend a job training program providing follow-up to individuals experiencing housing insecurity. He is currently applying to law schools with a goal of becoming a public defender.

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