From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


Manchester College Trustees select

Jo Young Switzer for next president

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (Aug. 28, 2004) – The Manchester College Board of Trustees today unanimously appointed Vice President and Dean Jo Young Switzer as president of the college, effective July 1, 2005.

Dr. Switzer, a 1969 graduate of the college, will be Manchester’s 14th president, and its first woman president. She will succeed Parker G. Marden, who will complete his 11th year as president when he retires on June 30, 2005.

The nationwide search drew nearly 80 candidates, said Board Chair Dave Haist. Switzer was nominated unanimously for the office by a 15-member Presidential Search Committee representing trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, students and the local community. Committee chair, Board Vice Chair J. Bentley Peters, presented the report and recommendation to the Trustees today.

Switzer has led academic affairs at Manchester since 1993.  The northern Indiana college has about 1,100 students and 70 full-time teaching faculty.  “We are at a very important time for Manchester College and there is no doubt that Jo will provide us the leadership and drive necessary for the College to continue to grow and flourish,” said Haist, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fort Wayne-based Do it Best Corp.  “We have seen first-hand Jo’s energy and commitment to faith, learning and service. She will set the bar for all of us involved with the College.” 

Switzer also has chaired Manchester’s Department of Communication and taught at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne. Switzer’s doctorate and master’s degree are from the University of Kansas, in communication studies. She has completed postdoctoral study at Indiana University.

She has co-authored a textbook, “Interviewing Art and Skill” and published numerous academic articles.  Switzer has chaired the national deans’ task force for the Council of Independent Colleges and serves as a consultant evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.  She has won several significant teaching awards, including the Central States Speech Association’s prestigious 1982 Outstanding Young Teacher.

 “I am humbled to become a part of a long line of Manchester College presidents who have helped build a school that graduates students who have both ability and the conviction to use their abilities for good,” said Switzer. “To be able to lead a strong, high quality institution is a tremendous opportunity. We are currently engaged in campuswide strategic planning and I look forward to completing that process and positioning the college to capture those opportunities.”

“The Board of Trustees has made an outstanding choice,” said President Marden.  “Dr. Switzer is a wonderful teacher and administrator and fits Manchester especially well. She also has a broad understanding of the challenges facing higher education and the tools to address them.”

Manchester is a Church of the Brethren college; Switzer was raised in that church.

Switzer and her husband Dave, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at IPFW, have three grown children.

Manchester College offers 45 areas of baccalaureate study and a master of accountancy. U.S. News & World Report has labeled it a “Best College” for 10 consecutive years. Its accounting, science and peace studies programs are nationally acclaimed, and educators trained at MC work in most of Indiana’s counties. Switzer nominated the 2002 U.S. Professor of the Year, art Professor Jim Adams. For more information about Manchester College, visit

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