President A. Blair Helman
1960 portrait

President Helman with Andrew Cordier ’22 (center) in October 1963.

President Helman with Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. in February 1968
in the College Union.

President Helman presenting Hyedima Bwala ’71 with the 1983 Alumni Award.

President and Pat Helman at the
October 1992 groundbreaking
for Helman Hall

President Helman covering first
base at Camp Mack.

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"Manchester will always feel his influence."
Remembering President A. Blair Helman
President A. Blair Helman
"Manchester will always feel his influence."
Related links:
President Switzer's reflections on President Helman
Donate to A. Blair and Patricia K. Helman Honor Scholarships

More pictures from this article:

"He is simply a fine human being and a great humanitarian."

The late Gov. Frank O’Bannon wrote those words, in remarking that the State of Indiana was blessed in having President A. Blair Helman as one of its own.

Many of the hundreds gathering last March to reflect on the life of the College’s ninth president easily slipped into familiar verbiage about a man of great ability and conviction. Of a man whose life and the mission of the College were
intertwined. Dr. A. Blair Helman, pivotal president of Manchester College for 30 years, died March 22 at Timbercrest Retirement Community at the age of 88.

While this College he held so dear continues to undergo great transformation as it did from the day he became president at the young age of 35, he would expect such energy. He, after all, lit the flame.

“President Helman’s leadership reflected his keen intellect, deep faith, and enduring love for Manchester College,” said President Jo Young Switzer.

“The entire Manchester College community continues to walk in his footsteps: his commitments to faith, learning, and service; a broad world view; financial integrity; and educational strength.”

President Helman would expect that.

“The great days at Manchester College are not in the past or the present; but, the great days of Manchester College are in the future,” he declared upon his retirement in 1986.

And so it shall be, say equally committed members of the Manchester College community of the 21st century.

Study abroad programs set in motion during the Helman years continue to lead generations of Manchester College students down new paths of global understanding. For example, one of the winners of the 2009 Student Research Symposium spent her junior year studying abroad in Strasbourg, France.

International students continue to find their place in growing numbers on this northern Indiana campus – this year they total 42 – taking leadership among their Hoosier classmates, expanding the global consciousness of all within the MC community and its neighbors.

African-American students are finding Manchester a comfortable fit in record numbers, their place here nurtured years ago by President Helman. Just a year or so ago, the College celebrated the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s convocation on campus, and a college president’s bravery in extending the invitation.

In retirement, Dr. Helman remained close to the College, present at performances and celebrations – many within the Cordier Auditorium he dedicated in celebration of the College’s NGO status within the United Nations and of MC graduate, Andrew Cordier ’22, who helped draft the Charter of the United Nations.

Acknowledged as a national and state leader in higher education and in the Church of the Brethren, President Helman was at the birth of what today is the 31-member Independent Colleges of Indiana. Manchester continues to take a leadership role in that organization that finds strength in its unity.

“Manchester College will always feel his influence,” said Switzer.

Just as President Helman brought new programs and structures for study and wellness, the tradition continues today. A Science Center, Recital Hall, Fitness Center and College Union have opened for this generation of MC students with the same fiscal responsibility embraced by that former president. Now, the College is planning for future generations, future teaching techniques, future courses, future opportunities …


PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP AWARDS at Manchester College were established with a $1 million endowment donation in the Helman’s honor by Howard S. and the late Myra Bates ’32x Brembeck of Goshen. The scholarships go to students who demonstrate the promise of making
outstanding contributions to the nation and the world.

Memorials may be made to The A. Blair and Patricia K. Helman Honor
Scholarships/Manchester College Presidential Leadership Awards in care of
the Manchester College Office of College Advancement, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, Ind., 46962. Also, to The A. Blair and Patricia Kennedy Helman Charitable Endowment.

To give online, click here.

In this issue
We are in this together
from the president.

The Chime Inscriptions on the 10 bells continue to ring true today.

A legacy of Faith, Learning and Service
Remembering President A. Blair Helman.

International consciousness
Expanding MC horizons on campus and abroad.

The PERC pulses with activity
Bulging at the girders with Spartans, intramurals, classes.

Not your parents' P.E. class
Exercise and sport sciences bring new career opportunities.

Manchester in the spotlight
New initiatives put College in national media.

Profiles of ability and conviction


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