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Nashville Moment: Dr. David Rosen

O'More College's President Rosen has brought about tremendous change, insight, and, soon, a new architecture program.

Written By:  Nashville Lifestyles

Photographers:  Shannon Fontaine

>>> Nashville moment with Caroline Randall Williams


David Rosen, President of O'More College of Design

Dr. David Rosen did not end up at O’More by accident; he saw an opportunity in the school and in the region for a program that sorely needed developing. As president, Rosen has been on staff for little more than one year, yet, since his start in July 2015, he has brought about tremendous change, insight, and, soon, a new architecture program. “I saw that Middle Tennessee had incredible growth and had no first-professional degree in architecture to help it,” he says. “I also noticed that [there was] no industrial design degree in the state. And, if you want to have an engine for creating new products and processes that can be spun into businesses, you need industrial design.”

Age: “60-ish”

One purpose: Before Rosen even secured his current role as president—in fact, during the interview process to get the job—he brought up Nashville’s lack of, and desperate need for, architecture education, especially in an era of such growth and development in the area. “I came [to O’More] with one purpose, for better or worse,” he says, and that purpose was to launch the forthcoming architecture program, the curriculum for which he plans to have totally ironed out by the fall semester of 2018.

Human relations at the core: No matter which degree—including fashion, graphic design, interior design, and, in years coming, architecture—O’More students choose to pursue, Rosen and his staff simply want the very best for each of them.

“Good parents always want their child to be smarter, healthier, more intelligent, wealthier, more successful, and happier than they are. I think that’s what we all want,” he says. “So, when I look at the people that we serve, including our students and everyone in our community, that’s what I believe we want for them. That is the culture that we build within this institution.”

Relating education to biology: “For any plant or organism or animal to thrive, it requires the right environment, and, if it doesn’t have the right environment, it fails to express itself in its most robust way,” Rosen explains while talking about the campus’s intentionally charming and whimsical atmosphere.

“Everything is about creating the right environment for [our] students to be able to prosper. Those elements that they come up against most frequently that have the greatest power to influence them are the ones that carry the most value.”

Modest expectations: Careful of placing any black-and-white predictions on the school’s future, Rosen explains that, instead, he wants to always adapt to the ever-changing conditions for success in Nashville. “We’re dealing with no preconceptions,” he says. “All we want to do is change the world for the better.”

— Audrey Swanson

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