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Students and faculty celebrate Presidentís Manchester years

D. Randall Brown, chair of the Board of Trustees at Manchester University, announced at the April 10 donor appreciation dinner that the university’s student union would be renamed the Jo Young Switzer Center.

President Switzer will be retiring June 30. During Switzer’s tenure, the University has increased enrollment 25 percent, added a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program on a new Fort Wayne campus, raised more than 95 percent toward a Students First! $100 million campaign and dedicated several new learning facilities, including the student union.

“As president of Manchester Student Senate, I see what a direct impact donor dollars have on our student body,” said junior Chris Miller, a political science major from New Paris. “Naming our campus buildings after these generous families and individuals reminds students that there are thousands of people working behind the scenes to ensure that they have a positive experience at Manchester, a true testament to our emphasis on community and putting students first.”

Students are also thanking and celebrating President Jo Young Switzer with a gallery, featuring photographs from her Manchester University years.

Hundreds previewed the exhibit at a special University donor event.  Students in Advanced Public Relations will accompany the exhibit.

The 41 photographs will be on public display Saturday, April 12 through MU Alumni Days on May 28-29.

“We encourage the community to join students in honoring the accomplishments and June 30 retirement of President Switzer,” said senior Kara Gilly, a sport management major from Plymouth, Ind.

“The gallery will depict President Switzer in the many roles she has embraced at Manchester University, including as an undergraduate student, professor, faculty leader, dean and president.” Visitors to the exhibit will have opportunity to scribe their greetings to President Switzer.

The class wanted to make sure President Switzer was honored by university students in a unique way.

“President Switzer played a major role in opening the new pharmacy school in Fort Wayne, which made my decision to come to MU a very easy one. We wanted her to know our appreciation first-hand,” said Kimberly Cox, a pre-pharmacy major from Vevay, Ind.

Students in the Advanced Public Relations class taught by Professor Mary Lahman are coordinating several student-led celebrations of President Jo Young Switzer. The five students run the class in a meeting format, applying problem-based learning – presenting the problem first and creating situations that require students learn concepts to solve the problem. Students in the class represent a variety of majors, as is typical of a number of communication studies classes.

Each spring, students in the class take on a specific project, which gives them the opportunity for hands-on learning while doing real work. Last year, they helped promote a massive University auction of equipment, furniture and building supplies.

“Planning this photo gallery has been such an incredible opportunity – not only in giving me professional experience, but as a thank you to an amazing president so dedicated to the mission of Manchester and the students who attend. President Switzer has done so much on a professional level, but also a personal level,” said Gilley.

The public is welcome to visit the free exhibit, located on the upper level of the student union at the North Manchester campus.

Posted on 2014 Apr 22