MU birthday photo
The outside of the JYSC displayed birthday decorations to celebrate Manchester University’s 132nd year as an institution.
Photo by Mike Leckrone

Founders Day Parade Celebrates Manchester’s 132nd Birthday

Rocco Hanes

On Friday November 5, at 11:30 in the morning, Manchester held a celebratory parade to pay tribute to Manchester’s Founders Day and birthday. The celebration was to acknowledge the deep history laced into the foundations of the university.

It started 132 years ago, when the Roanoke Classical Seminar moved into North Manchester and the university placed its roots. In its 132-year life, Manchester has had a lot of notable events and additions to the university. With its roots in the Church of the Brethren, after its start in 1889 it served the five-state area of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin by 1932 as a university for growth in the Church of the Brethren.

Its first addition in its long history was the merging with Mount Morris College. Another small college in the same church joined with Manchester in 1932 to make a more strengthened program to spread the word of the church.

For its next big addition Manchester became a global pioneer for universities all around the world. In 1948, the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution became the first undergraduate Peace Studies program in the world. 20 years later, a well known peace advocate came and gave a speech at our University. In February of 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr came and gave a speech on campus about the future of integration.

Then, in 2012, the change was made from Manchester College to the now-known Manchester University, and the school added its first doctoral class in pharmaceutical studies. Four years later, Manchester became another pioneer as it added the nations first Master’s degree in pharmacogenomics in 2016.

And to celebrate all these accomplishments, Manchester threw itself a party, complete with a parade. Starting on the corner of College Avenue and Wayne Street, the parade followed the leadership of Spartan Pride Marching Band, making its way north in front of the Cordier Auditorium on the mall. Next it moved over to the Jo Young Switzer Center for an arrangement of refreshments at the Haist Commons.

“It was a fun experience to end the week,” stated first year student Brett Wathen.

Arty Cass agreed. “I enjoyed the Spartan Pride Marching Band, and I thought they put on a good performance for the parade,” he said.

Now after 132 years of serving students from all over the world, Manchester is one of only six colleges in the country that has its roots in the traditions and values in the Church of the Brethren.