National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 4. Copyright 2008 National Collegiate Honors Council.


Long before NCHC had a paid, professional staff, Grey Austin was one of a small group of legendary executive secretary/treasurers (along with Jean Philips, John Portz, Lothar Tresp, Bill Mech, and Earl Brown, Jr.) who kept our organization functional and solvent. He served in that capacity in the 1970s and was also the president of our organization early in the following decade. Those of us in honors “of a certain age” recall Grey as a thoughtful, quiet, gentle, skilled leader and manager. Some of us, too, will never forget his characterization of honors leadership: being an honors director, he said, is like being a little boy who has wet his pants—it gives you a nice warm feeling, and you hope nobody notices! Fewer of us, perhaps, knew that Grey was a Methodist minister, who had left the ministry for academe shortly after he completed his seminary studies. Now Grey has written a book about his spiritual journey with the gently punning title Wholly Spirit . His book, too, gives one a nice warm feeling, and a good deal more in addition, and I hope lots of readers do notice.