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Students First! News and Updates

April 2013 Heather Schililng, assoicate professor of education, teaches in the new Academic Center

Heather Schilling, associate professor of education, teaches in the new Academic Center.

In this issue:



Academic Center strengthens learning, renews passion for teaching

As Students First! steams toward its $100 million goal, your generosity is paying big dividends for students and faculty in the new Academic Center.

Being in closer proximity to students again “has brightened my spirits and renewed my passion for teaching,” says Mary Lahman ’83, professor of communication studies, who moved her office last summer from Calvin Ulrey Hall to the Academic Center. When faculty offices and classrooms were in separate buildings, time with students was more scheduled than spontaneous. Now, says Lahman, it’s easy for students to find faculty, ask questions and talk over problems. The interactions build trust, an important factor, says Lahman, in student success.

The new spaces are building community in informal ways, adds Heather Schilling ’90, associate professor of education. Schilling’s department was in CU, too, off the beaten path. Now, she says, “students stop by our offices to ask a question or just say hi.” One student brings his lunch and eats with Schilling a few times a week. “We just talk,” Schilling says. “We solve a lot of life’s problems that way.”

Economics Professor John Deal says the Academic Center is fostering faculty camaraderie. “That close working relationship spills over to the students,” says Deal. Collaboration helps faculty connect the dots of student learning. “I can see what my colleagues are doing, and that helps me relate to what my students are doing in their other classes,” he says. As a result, adds Lahman, faculty are refining their teaching and brainstorming ideas in ways they couldn’t before.

The Academic Center is “incredibly student-friendly,” according to Stacy Erickson, assistant professor of English. With classrooms, study spaces and faculty offices in the same building, Erickson says conversations grow organically. Students who want to talk to her can wait in “comfy chairs” outside her office. Often, they use the space to chat between classes or do homework. Study lounges with tables are a magnet for group work.

The Sisters Café, a gift from alumnae siblings Ruth ’54 and Carol Anstine ’58, is a gathering place, too. An instant hit on campus, the café brings people together, including Erickson and students with whom she sometimes has coffee or lunch.

Manchester continues to raise funds for the Academic Center. If you’re interested in making a gift, naming a space, or learning more about Students First!, visit




Teacher candidate embraces a proud tradition

Andrew Barrand

When school bells ring next fall, Manchester senior Andrew Barrand ’13 hopes to answer the call as a teacher in his own elementary classroom. Andrew knows that top-notch educators are a proud tradition at Manchester, and he’s happy to carry the mantle.

Your gifts to Students First! help keep Manchester’s Teacher Education Program one of the most respected in Indiana. You help provide state-of-the-art classrooms in the new Academic Center, scholarships for deserving students, and leadership opportunities for students like Andrew.

“A lot of my best teachers were in elementary school,” reflects Andrew. “I felt like they really cared.” Those teachers inspired Andrew to become a teacher. And Manchester has inspired him, too. He got into field experiences early and often, observing a range of grade levels before finding his niche in third grade. His professors are mentors and, at Manchester, he says, “everyone supports you.”

Andrew, a first-generation college student, has been active in Student Education Association at the campus and state levels. He’s been a resident assistant (RA) and a mentor to first-year students. He even attended the National Education Association convention in Washington, D.C., last summer, riding in an airplane for the first time and networking among 10,000 professional educators from across the United States.

This spring, the Fort Wayne native is student teaching in Chicago, adding an urban experience to his professional credentials. He hopes it will help land him a job come fall so that he can use his Manchester education to help others. “Every day changes when you work with kids,” says Andrew. “You can have a huge impact on their lives.”

You have a huge impact on lives, too, when you support Students First! Ask Mr. Barrand, teacher.

Support the The Manchester Fund or other campaign initiatives at




Tom Blake on a January study-abroad trip to India in 2012

Even before he started his senior year at Manchester, Tom Blake ’13 had a job waiting for him after graduation.

“I’ve known I wanted to be an accountant for a long time,” says the accounting and economics major from Plymouth, Ind., whose three summer internships at Umbaugh and Associates landed him the job offer.

Umbaugh provides financial advice to local governments in the Midwest, helping them prepare budgets and economic development packages, set utility rates, issue bonds and much more. Tom’s work there has been primarily in accounting, but the theoretical explorations of his economics courses “really helped me expand my mind and analytical skills.”

Tom didn’t look around for a college. Manchester, he says, is as good as it gets for an aspiring accountant. “I really like the small campus, too,” and the professors are approachable and interested in his well-being. “I’ve just been given so many opportunities to grow professionally.”

He made the most of them. Tom won the Jo Young Switzer Award for “Best Quantitative Research Paper” at Manchester’s University Student Research Symposium in 2012. He helped launch the Department of Economics’ grant-funded Wabash County Economic Report. And last fall, Tom was one of four senior accounting majors from Manchester who won first place in the Indiana CPA Society Case Study Competition. Collegiate teams in the grueling contest had 10 days to research a hypothetical business problem and write a 50-page recommendation to solve it.

Tom and his twin sister, Sarah, who is studying to be a teacher, will graduate together in May. He’ll take his CPA exam and start his full-time career. By his own admission, he’s happier crunching numbers than he is talking. But one thing is easy to say: Thanks to Manchester, “I’m a lot more confident now.”

Read more stories about MU students like Tom >




Scholarship donor finished college 48 years after she started

Elizabeth HendrixElizabeth Hendrix may have seemed ordinary to some, baking cookies and cakes for Manchester students. In fact, she was an extraordinary woman who left a legacy of perseverance, lifelong learning and generosity.

Through her will, the former food service worker established the Elizabeth Land Hendrix Scholarship for peace studies majors at Manchester. Hendrix knew the disappointment of not having enough money for college and she didn’t want it happen to others.

Hendrix started college in Kokomo in 1932. But money was scarce in the depths of the Great Depression and she had to drop out. She married and raised seven children, but she never gave up on college.

In 1959, Hendrix moved her family to North Manchester. She got a job in campus food service, audited courses, and watched her children leave the nest. Her big chance came in the mid-1970s when she got a job as a dorm supervisor at Indiana Central University (now the University of Indianapolis). ICU offered her free tuition and honored the credits she had earned in the early ’30s in Kokomo. Five challenging years later, at age 64, Elizabeth Hendrix graduated from college with a degree in German literature.

“She never stopped learning,” says daughter Martha Bartenbach, who supports Students First! by contributing regularly to the scholarship fund her mother started. The gifts to Manchester are “a way to keep her in my mind,” says Bartenbach, “and of keeping her in others’ minds.”

In 1980, Hendrix returned to North Manchester and her job in the cafeteria kitchen. She belonged to the Manchester Church of the Brethren, loved reading, reciting poetry, and traveling. She died in 1995.

Bartenbach hopes her mother’s legacy will continue to inspire others. A college education is worth the sacrifice – even if it takes 48 years.

Join Martha Bartenbach in supporting Students First! at

Make a gift online to Students First! The Campaign for Manchester >