As a McPherson import and graduate of Fort Hays State, I have no personal ties to either of our city’s colleges. As an outsider who is now proud to call Mac home, I’d like to comment on them both - or, more particularly, their new presidents.
I pass the Schneiders’ home every day as I go to work at the McPherson Museum. It puts a smile on my face to see the Halloween decorations they have placed outside the home. It strikes me that there have surely been few, if any, instances when young children have lived in the Mac College president’s home. President Schneider and his family are a breath of fresh air.
Michael Schneider has been recognized as one of the youngest college presidents, and while that is an interesting fact, it would mean little to the college if he were not also creating growth and enabling those around him to do their jobs most effectively. His positive impact upon McPherson College is apparent. I have contact with several employees and students at Mac College, and even though enough time has passed for the honeymoon phase to have worn away, the comments I hear are enthusiastic and hopeful.
We have another new president on the south end of town at Central Christian College. It was my pleasure to host President Hal Hoxie at the September New You Lecture Series at the Museum. The series focuses on people who have made a major switch in some area of their lives, such as President Hoxie’s. When I first learned that Central had chosen a former military pilot as their president, I was curious as to what he could bring to the college. Having met him, it becomes obvious. Like President Schneider, his charm and force of character are evident. President Hoxie strikes me as a man devoted to the growth of his alma mater and to serving his savior, both personally and professionally. He is a good role model for the students at Central.
Though their ages and backgrounds differ, I see many similarities between our two new college presidents. I see two men who have taken what might have been perceived as drawbacks - one’s youth, the other’s vastly different career - and turned them into strengths and advantages.
I congratulate the search committees from each college on their ability to look at character, talent, and vision over and above other factors. It looks to me like they made wise decisions.
Letter to the Editor: Two presidents