In the News

Alexis Young passes the Chamber gavel to Chris Garber in January 2015.

Manchester creates honor in name of the late Chris Garber 

Manchester University President Dave McFadden has established a new MU award, the Christopher W. Garber Staff Member of the Year.

Alexis YoungHe surprised Garber’s friend and co-worker Alexis Young as the 2016 recipient. Director of Conference Services, Young embodies the positive, caring attitude Garber lived every day, McFadden said.

“The energy and enthusiasm she brings to her work and her engagement with the community both reflect the spirit that Chris brought to all he did,” the MU president said at Tuesday’s annual all-employee meeting.

Garber, who died in December, was assistant vice president for operations at the University and cared deeply about the University and North Manchester, his hometown.

At the time of his death, Garber was president of the North Manchester Chamber of Commerce. A 1973 graduate of Manchester High School and a 1977 graduate of MU, he was also the North Manchester Town Council president and vice chair of the Community Foundation of Wabash County Board of Directors.

He served as town manager before to going to work at the University in 1999. In 2009, Garber was named North Manchester Citizen of the Year. His sons will represent him as torch bearers in the Indiana bicentennial celebration during North Manchester Pioneer Day on Sept. 28.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” Young said. “In my 10 years at MU, Chris had the most profound impact on my work and my overall experience here.  He taught me the true meaning of being a team player, and what that looks like on a larger scale when the University and the town of North Manchester collaborate.”

Young is an active member of Be Well Wabash County, the North Manchester Chamber Board of Directors and was the 2014 board president. She has also served as a board member and board president of the Wabash County Convention and Visitors Bureau, now Visit Wabash County.

She has worked with others to organize events for the Learn More Center and put on the Harvest Festival.

At Manchester, Young oversees University-sponsored events, camps, conferences, workshops, seminars and use of facilities. She will head the committee to choose next year’s award recipient.

McFadden said the award criteria include the many positive attributes Garber exhibited every day – except his well-known habit of breaking into song – of being a leader among his peers, a collaborator, problem solver and encourager. The award will be given to someone who is reliable, loyal and respected. 

I’m setting the bar high,” the University president said as he revealed to faculty and staff that Young is this year’s winner by pulling out the award plaque with her name already on it. 

Young and her husband, Gary, live in North Manchester and have four children, Lincoln, Christian, Bella and Eden. 

Manchester has campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, and it offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at

September 9, 2016