Manchester University
Oak Leaves

December 8, 2017

President McFadden Reveals Oak Leaves Experience 

Wayne Smith 

It's fast becoming a Manchester tradition that the university president once worked for the Oak Leaves.

Forty years ago, during the school year of 1978-79, then-student Dave McFadden wrote his own opinion column in the Oak Leaves. He was recommended for this job due to his experience as the editor of the "Peace Studies Journal."  

“It’s was kind of ironic to write for the Oak Leaves, because I didn’t have any writing experience,” McFadden said. He wrote opinion based columns that covered what he said was "everything under the sun."
“Ten years after I graduated, Manchester’s vice president showed me one of the columns I wrote," McFadden recalled. "He pulled it out of his desk and showed me. It was my story about being unable to grow facial hair, and how good I was at NOT being able to grow any. It was really cool to see a story that I had written so long ago, and it was really special to see it from the vice president, of all people.” (McFadden has also gone on to prove this column wrong.)

Among his experiences with the Oak Leaves, McFadden remembers the rush of driving to Wabash to print copies the most. There would be times where the nights would run late, and there was a sense of urgency to print the paper to make the deadline. His highlight trip was when he recollected his speed-demon years. “One time in particular, I was driving back to campus from Wabash in a campus car, and my car was reported for driving too fast,” McFadden said. 

McFadden's Oak Leaves career lasted only the span of the one year. “It was a one time thing,” he said. This was because his work schedule did not allow for any other activities outside of his normal schedule, so a sacrifice had to be made. 

However, McFadden was still involved in the newspaper business, through his position as the sales manager for North Manchester’s own newspaper, where he was in charge of getting sponsors for ads in the paper. 

McFadden notes that his predecessor, President Jo Young Switzer, was an editor of the Oak Leaves.

Ironically enough, the University’s last two presidents have been a part of the Oak Leaves in some way, so maybe there’s a requirement for Manchester presidents to have newspaper experience. Keep an eye on the current masthead.