Manchester to inaugurate 15th president, Dave McFadden, on Friday

Dave McFadden has long been an agent of change at Manchester University. On Friday, Nov. 7, he will take the stage at Cordier Auditorium and receive the Presidential Medallion as the 15th president in the University’s 125-year history.

The public is invited to the Inaugural Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at the North Manchester campus, followed by a reception at the Jo Young Switzer Center.

 “Dave is constantly learning, questioning and seeking to improve,” said Randy Brown, chairman of the MU Board of Trustees and managing partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Fort Wayne. “This passion for learning, combined with his vast institutional knowledge and boundless energy, is the perfect recipe for Manchester’s continued success.”

As executive vice president, McFadden helped lead bold initiatives that led to record enrollment this year, construction of the Fort Wayne campus, a four-year pharmacy doctoral program, the graduation and employment Triple Guarantee, and three-year Fast Forward undergraduate degree program. He also has served as dean of the College of Pharmacy.

He worked closely on the Students First! campaign with his predecessor, Jo Young Switzer, who retired this summer after a decade as president. The campaign raised $108.7 million, eclipsing the goal of $100 million 18 months early.

 “Jo shepherded the campaign and made this success a reality,” McFadden said, adding that Switzer “deserves our heartfelt thanks for her leadership.”

Like her, McFadden is passionate about the University’s mission:

“Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.”

To that end, the University is adding programs that are market smart and value driven, focusing on ways to prepare students for the future and meet the needs of employers.

“Manchester University is thriving at a time when many other institutions of higher education are struggling,” said Brown, a 1987 MU graduate. “Dave has played an integral role in where we are today and we expect that, with him at the helm, Manchester will continue to thrive and be a leader in delivering quality education and affordable costs to our students.”

McFadden comes to the office after 20 years as a senior leader at the University. A third-generation graduate, McFadden met his wife, Renee, at first-year orientation and their children, Rachel and Sam, are the fourth generation to graduate from MU.

His parents, Wilbur and Joyce, also met at Manchester before serving the Church of the Brethren as missionaries in Indonesia.

After graduating from Manchester in 1982, McFadden earned his Ph.D. in political science at Claremont Graduate University. Serving at Claremont as an administrator for six years, he returned to his alma mater and hometown to lead Manchester’s enrollment efforts. He became president officially on July 1.

McFadden has long been an active community and church leader, serving as president of the Community Foundation of Wabash County board, as chair of the Manchester Church of the Brethren board and as a member of the boards of Bethany Theological Seminary, Brethren Mennonite Council and the Questa Education Foundation.

The University is well-known for its tradition of service, both institutional and individual.  Its students, faculty and staff last year volunteered more than 40,000 hours, placing it on President Obama's Higher Education Community Service "Honor Roll."

“We have a 125-year history that provides meaning, a solid mission to build on and extraordinary momentum for the journey ahead,” McFadden said in a speech this summer at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference.

His inauguration day caps the University’s 125th anniversary season, with an invitation-only luncheon and dinner and then a fun evening at the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne.

Manchester is hosting a performance by “The Second City” comedy troupe at 8 p.m. that will include a special improvisation routine dedicated to the University. Tickets are available to the public at Ticketmaster and the Embassy box office. http://www.manchester.edu/news/125SecondCity2014.htm

October 31, 2014 (Updated November 3, 2014)

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