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Students First! News and Updates

July, 2012 Thanks for giving to Students First!
In this issue:

The Manchester Fund exceeds goal

You’re awesome!

A late surge in giving from alumni and friends pushed The Manchester Fund past this year’s goal of $1 million. In all, the $1,033,598 in unrestricted funds raised for the fiscal year that ended June 30 will help run daily operations at the University, pay utility bills, provide library books and laboratory equipment, help maintain campus buildings and much more.

Your gifts to The Manchester Fund count toward the Students First! campaign too. As of today, Manchester has raised $79,761,359 toward its $100 million goal. The campaign will provide student scholarships, strengthen the endowment, and support faculty and student learning programs. And fundraising continues for the Academic Center, which will welcome students this fall with shiny new learning spaces and modern technology.

Thank you for supporting The Manchester Fund and Students First! To learn more about the campaign or make a gift, click on


Haist takes over for retiring Montel

David Haist Sandy Haist Gary Montel
David Haist '73 Sandy Cleveland '74 Haist '02 Gary Montel '65

Students First! co-chairs Dave and Sandy Haist are taking their passion for Manchester’s mission to a whole new level: They’ve joined the University staff.

Dave, a 1973 business and economics graduate, retired recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Do It Best Corp., the international hardware cooperative based in Fort Wayne. His encore career as executive director of alumni relations began this month when former director Gary Montel retired. Dave also will teach several courses at the University, including Financial Responsibility, Operations Management, and Principled Leadership.

Sandy Haist, who earned Manchester degrees in 1974 and 2002, is working part time as the University’s social media coordinator. Both Haists will continue in their roles as Students First! co-chairs.

Montel served Manchester for 24 years, first as director of development and public relations, then as director of alumni and church relations. While alumni director, Montel increased support for the University, guided the Alumni Association Board, and established Manchester’s international travel program for alumni. The University honored him recently with the Church-College Service Award and an Alumni Honor Award.

Learn more about alumni programs or connect with friends at


We’re stronger together

Did you put that appeal from Manchester in a stack of mail to think about later? Maybe you told the student Phonathon caller, “Sorry. I’ll try to give next time.”

It’s easy to feel that your individual gift among thousands won’t make a difference.

But it will.

When a high percentage of alumni give to Manchester, it tells the world that they are proud of their alma mater, value their education and support the mission. And alumni giving is a key factor in national rankings, such as those in U.S.News & World Report. Who cares? Academically strong students do. They compare rankings when choosing where to enroll.

Corporations and foundations also consider alumni giving rates when they make funding decisions. If they see that alumni believe in Manchester, they are more likely to believe in Manchester.

Employee giving makes a statement, too. At Manchester, 100 percent of all faculty and Fort Wayne staff and 66 percent of North Manchester staff have supported Students First!

Alumni and employee giving strengthens Manchester, elevates our reputation, and makes your diploma more valuable.

So please consider supporting the Students First! campaign.

Your individual gift among thousands will make a difference. So will thousands of individual gifts.  BACK TO TOP

Because you put me first — Erin Puckett

Erin Puckett '12Erin Puckett ’12 chose Manchester because she knew the Accounting and Business Department would prepare her for success.

Her experience exceeded her expectations.

The accounting and finance major from Rochester, Ind., finished her degree requirements in December and went to work at Crowe Horwath LLP in South Bend a few weeks later. Erin says Manchester faculty and staff put her on a trajectory toward a great job with a prestigious firm.

“The professors at Manchester went above and beyond my expectations,” says Erin. They were easily accessible outside of the classroom and often made themselves available by phone or e-mail at night when she was studying. “If I even gave the slightest vibe that I may not understand something, the professor was right there to make sure it was clear before moving on.”

Now an auditor, Erin had summer internships with Crowe Horwath and Crossroads Bank. The Career Services Office helped polish her resumè and prepared her for interviews—a big boost when Manchester brought accounting firms from all over Indiana to recruit on campus.

Those recruiters may have been impressed with one achievement in particular. Erin captained an Indiana CPA Society Case Study team with fellow students Traci Fuqua '12, Ashley McGovern '12 and Pooja Shrestha '12. The women worked “day and night” on a 53-page document to become finalists. For the finals, they had one week to develop a 20-minute presentation for the judges. The team finished third, Manchester’s best showing in the competition in about five years.

Erin says her Manchester professors knew her by name within her first week on campus. She’ll remember them for the rest of her life. The Accounting and Business Department at Manchester is academically challenging, says Erin, “but the opportunities that come with the degree are endless.”

Read more about accounting at Manchester at

Read more stories about MU students >


Caldwell: ‘We have a responsibility’

Chris and Bettie Caldwell Carl and Carolyn Caldwell

As a child, Chris Caldwell ’87 loved visiting his dad’s office on the Manchester campus. He’d ride his bicycle from school to the Administration Building and read a book while his dad, Carl, finished his day advising students, grading papers or preparing for the next the day’s classes. Then Chris and Carl and perhaps Chris’ brother, Craig, would pedal home together.

So when Chris learned that he could support Students First! by providing a faculty office in the new Academic Center, it struck a sentimental chord. The Carl and Carolyn Caldwell office in the new History and Political Science Department space is a gift from Chris and his wife, Bettie. It’s a tribute to Chris’s dad, a popular history professor at Manchester from 1971 to 1989, and his mom, who served as the administrative assistant to the campus pastor.

It’s also a chance for Chris to give back.

“I don’t think I would be where I am today without Manchester,” says Chris, vice president of Muncie-based MutualBank. A history major, Chris credits his liberal arts education with honing his written and oral communication skills, and his ability to reason, analyze and solve problems. He recalls being challenged in “History of Christian Theology” with Al Deeter '53, now professor emeritus of religion and philosophy.  “Al made everybody question,” says Chris. “He wanted to know ‘Why do you believe what you believe?’”

Chris remembers “phenomenal discussions” in small history classes with his dad and Dr. David Waas '47. And he recalls three transformative January experiences: travel to Mexico with Professor Jim Adams, travel to Sengal and Kenya with Dr. Waas, and a study of urban politics in Chicago with Dr. Leonard Williams.

Chris has always valued Manchester’s “welcoming environment.” He and Bettie appreciate that the University “is still an open and inclusive community that embraces all people.” There’s a sense of genuine caring at Manchester, he says, that is unlike anything else he’s known.

Chris wants new generations of students to have what he had at Manchester and that’s why he’s supporting Students First!  It’s simple, says Chris: The best way to honor the people who made Manchester possible for him is to make it possible for others.  “We have a responsibility to the future.”

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