Students celebrate President Switzer’s Manchester years with photo gallery

Students are thanking and celebrating President Jo Young Switzer with a photography gallery of her Manchester University years. The public is welcome to the free exhibit in the upper Union of the North Manchester campus.

Hundreds will preview the exhibit at a special University donor event the evening of April 10. Students in Advanced Public Relations will accompany the exhibit. The 41 photographs will be on public display Saturday, April 12 through MU Alumni Days on May 28-29.

“We encourage the community to join students in honoring the accomplishments and June 30 retirement of President Switzer,” said senior Kara Gilly, a sport management major from Plymouth, Ind. “The gallery will depict President Switzer in the many roles she has embraced at Manchester University, including as an undergraduate student, professor, faculty leader, dean and president.” Visitors to the exhibit will have opportunity to scribe their greetings to President Switzer.

The class wanted to make sure President Switzer is honored in a unique way by the students, said Kimberly Cox, a pre-pharmacy major from Vevay, Ind. “President Switzer played a major role in opening the new Pharmacy school in Fort Wayne, which made my decision to come to MU a very easy one. We wanted her to know our appreciation first-hand.”

Students in the Advanced Public Relations class taught by Professor Mary Lahman are coordinating several student-led celebrations of President Jo Young Switzer. The five students run the class in a meeting format, applying problem-based learning – presenting the problem first and creating situations that require students learn concepts to solve the problem. Students in the class represent a variety of majors, as is typical of a number of communication studies classes.

Each spring students in the class take on a project, getting the opportunity to do hands-on learning while doing real work. Last year, they helped promote a massive University auction of equipment, furniture and building supplies.

“Planning this photo gallery has been such an incredible opportunity – not only in giving me professional experience, but as a thank you to an amazing president so dedicated to the Mission of Manchester and the students who attend. President Switzer has done so much on a professional level, but also a personal level,” said Gilley.

For more about Communication Studies at Manchester University, visit For more about the exhibit, contact Matthew Gray or Sara Collazo Romay

March 2014

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