Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 16, 2016

Knapp joins Manchester University as VP, Chief Business Officer

Shelby Harrell

For Clair Knapp, Manchester’s new chief business officer, life is all about seeking adventure and seizing the opportunity to become a part of something greater than himself. This fall, Knapp has embodied this credo as he begins his work at Manchester University.

Knapp, after serving as the chief financial officer at Ohio Dominican University for 18 months, accepted his current position at Manchester out of a desire to be part of an institution that has a deep history and solid reputation. “It is a truly wonderful institution with a great mission and great people that carry out that mission,” Knapp said. “After having the opportunity to spend some more time on campus and meeting all the great people, it was an easy decision for my wife and myself to move back to Indiana.”
After growing up in the northwest part of Indiana just outside of Chicago, Knapp attended the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne. Then, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and secured a position at a C.P.A. firm in Fort Wayne. “I primarily worked on manufacturing and distribution companies as well as institutions of higher education,” Knapp said. “I was also the director of finance for a large automotive supplier before I moved into a chief financial officer position at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.” Knapp spent a total of six years in that position before moving to Ohio Dominican. He earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014.

Knapp is currently enjoying his new position and is looking forward to impacting the lives of students and the broader world. “I love being part of a place that develops and transforms students who will go on to make an impact in this nation and in the world whatever vocation they decide to choose,” he said. “Manchester has many great alumni doing this now and to be part of that is what drives me.”
Outside of office hours, Knapp seeks out highly adventurous and physical activities such as biking, doing Crossfit and experiencing the thrill that comes from watching either the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team or the Notre Dame and Chicago Bears football teams defeat their opponents. “I love to ride because you get the opportunity to see lots of places you would not see from a car,” Knapp said. When explaining his love for Crossfit, Knapp said simply that he enjoys the challenging workouts as well as the “amazing” amount of support that is given. “For the past four years I’ve been a member of Crossfit gyms,” he said. “And the community in a Crossfit gym is like no other I’ve experienced.”
In addition to these activities, he also loves reading and spending time with his family. He and his wife Kristi have been married for 22 years and have two children. Their son Webb works at Sherwin Williams in Columbus, OH, and their daughter Kelsie is a freshman at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University.