President Dave McFadden announced he would retire after 30 years of employment.
Photo provided by MU

President McFadden Announces Retirement at End of School Year

Ely Cook

On Monday Nov. 10, 2022, Manchester University’s president Dave McFadden announced that he will be retiring on Jun. 30, 2023.

Why did he decide to retire this year? “I turn 65 next year and will finish 30 years of work at Manchester, the last nine as president,” he said. “Both are major milestones and the time felt right to retire.”

In the future, he plans to spend more time with his wife, Renée McFadden, and, as he put it, “buy a small travel trailer and wander to parts of the country that we haven’t seen.” He even has sporting ambitions. “I also plan to go into full nerd mode following the Los Angeles Dodgers!” he said.

He also decided that after his cross-country road trip, he and his wife plan to, live at the lake for a while and plan to move back to Southern California in a few years. “We lived there for ten years before returning to Manchester and still have lots of good friends there,” he said.

However, despite the plan to move back to Southern California, he expresses that he still plans to come back to support the sports teams. “Manchester is in our blood,” he said. “I’m sure we will come back to campus after we retire.”

Reflecting on his time here, McFadden expressed some of his greatest memories during his years working at Manchester University. “My favorite memories all involve interactions with students, colleagues and alumni,” he said. “Some were structured, like when students came over to Tall Oaks, and some were spontaneous, like pulling up a chair to have lunch with students in Haist Commons. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with people at a personal level.”

He continues by explaining reasons why it will be hard to leave Manchester. “I’d like to think that Manchester is a place where people can talk about their differences and learn from each other,” he said. “That’s unusual in our country right now. Communities are polarized and most people seem to hang out only with those they agree with.”

He believes that students count on getting a good education here. “That’s a given,” he said. “In addition, they will connect individually with people who care deeply about them and their success. Those two things together make Manchester a great place to go to college.”

McFadden understands that it will be hard for him to leave. “Manchester is so much a part of who I am that I take it for granted sometimes, ” he said. “If I were a fish, Manchester would be the water that I swim in. I grew up nearby, I’m a third-generation graduate, I met Renée here on the first day of freshman orientation, and I’ve worked here for 30 years. I will miss being on our campuses, miss seeing the oak leaf sculpture and chime tower every day, miss saying hello to friends and students that I run into. I will miss watching the squirrels and watching out for falling acorns.”

Still presidential, he offered words of wisdom to the students and his farewell to the senior class of 2023. “To all students, I would say “find the place where your skills and values can be used to make the world a better place. The world needs you!”

The presidential search committee is now searching for new candidates for 2023.