Lenneal Henderson (KNFP 5), Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Administration, University of Baltimore.
This article was originally published in the July 2006 issue of the KFLA Newsletter.
Lenneal Henderson’s faith that positive change will and can happen motivates him in his work. Whether he is helping to ”put students in touch with their own authority” in his role as a university professor, or leveraging and networking among the boards and commissions he serves on, Lenneal believes persistence pays off. ”It’s important to stay in the battle,” he says. ”If you have to drop out, make sure you’ve groomed your successor.”
According to Lenneal, success occurs only on an interim basis. He tends to look beyond his current projects to the next challenge. ”I can’t feel completely successful because there’s always that next goal to be accomplished.”
Lenneal is passionate about learning, spiritual exploration, and service, particularly to people at opposite ends of the age spectrum. His various professional and volunteer activities have spanned from neighborhood projects in his hometown of Baltimore, to national projects on integrated housing developments, to establishing an international exchange program. He admits, ”I love to work internationally.” He goes abroad at least annually to teach, lecture, or consult, and now sends students abroad to pursue their interests.
Lenneal believes his Kellogg Fellowship challenged him to investigate areas outside his realm of experience. He also values ”getting to know 43 other Fellows from all walks of life, from fire fighters to farmers to filmmakers.”
Following his fellowship, Lenneal worked with other Kellogg Fellows serving as mentors to new teachers through a Rockefeller Brothers Fund-sponsored program. ”The program extended the fellowship into a new iteration across classes,” he notes.
Now, as a KFLA board member, Lenneal intends to continue bringing together Fellows to work in alliance on a number of exciting projects. He says, ”I’m constantly asking how the fellowship ended up in my lap. I feel I’m no more deserving of it than the next person. My answer is: Since it has, I will work with it any way I can.”