McPherson College Names New President


Feb. 20, 2009

Church of the Brethren Newsline

Michael Schneider has been chosen by the McPherson College Board of Trustees as the 14th president of the college. He currently is vice president of Advancement and Admissions for the college, which is a Church of the Brethren school located in McPherson, Kan.

In making the announcement, board chair Craig Little expressed appreciation to the members of the search committee, to consultant Tom Scheye, the campus community, alumni, and members of the Church of the Brethren for their efforts on behalf of the selection process. “The Board of Trustees is very appreciative of the time, effort, and diligence of the search committee during this exhaustive process.” said Little. “Nearly 50 applications were sorted down to four finalists and making the final decision was not an easy one. I have great belief in the collective wisdom of the trustees and the search committee and think we made a great choice.”

Schneider holds a master of business administration from the University of Denver and a bachelor of science in communication from McPherson College. For the past seven years, he has been with McPherson College starting as director of career services, then vice president of advancement, and adding the vice president of admissions role in 2007.

In his current role, he is responsible for student enrollment, fundraising and annual giving, alumni relations, marketing, and career services. Through his leadership, the 2008 incoming class exceeded 500–the highest number in 30 years. In addition, the “myMC” campaign, which was completed in July 2008, raised $9 million–more than a million dollars over the original goal. The total number of donors to the college has increased by 20 percent during Schneider’s time with McPherson. Also under Schneider’s leadership, the college’s internship program has grown significantly to over 500 employment partners, with more than 50 percent of the student body engaged in at least one internship during their college career.

In addition to his current role at McPherson, Schneider also serves as board member and general partner in two outside companies: KESK, Inc., a small company that invests in start-up businesses in the energy sector; and Sunflower Wind, LLC., a privately-held wind turbine manufacturing company with operations in Hutchinson, Kan.

He is an active member of the McPherson Community Education Foundation Board of Directors and is heavily involved in leadership committees at First United Methodist Church of McPherson.

(This release was provided by Jana Wingert, director of Marketing and Communications at McPherson College.)

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contact to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

Brethren in the News

Doughnuts reign in Franklin County on Fastnacht Day,” Chambersburg (Pa.) Public Opinion (Feb. 19, 2009). The Chambersburg paper highlights local traditions prior to Lent–including Greencastle Church of the Brethren, where members start making fastnacht donuts all night Monday before “Fastnacht Day” or the day before Ash Wednesday. Sales benefit the Women’s Fellowship.

“Wife of Slim Whitman dies at 84,” Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2009). Alma “Jerry” Crist Whitman, wife of “America’s Favorite Folksinger” Slim Whitman, died on Feb. 16 at the age of 84. She is survived by her husband. Her father, A.D. Crist, helped found Clay County Church of the Brethren in Middleburg, Fla.

“Protestants awarded Lilly grants,” South Bend (Ind.) Tribune (Feb. 11, 2009). Northern Indiana District has received $335,000 in the Lilly Endowment’s “Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Indiana Pastors.”

“Grof and Baer represent Meyersdale Area High School,” Daily American, Somerset County, Pa. (Feb. 10, 2009). Shawn Baer of Beachdale Church of the Brethren is representing Meyersdale (Pa.) Area High School at Lions Club meetings.

Obituary: Orphea Pearl Mummert, Fort Collins (Colo.) Coloradoan (Feb. 8, 2009). Orphea Pearl Mummert, 95, passed away Feb. 4. She was involved with Northern Colorado Church of the Brethren in Windsor, Colo., and also Peak Community Church in Fort Collins. She was a teacher for 41 years, in Idaho, Indiana, and Colorado.

“A bell, a baby and a baptism–Polar Sea revives a nautical tradition,” Seattle (Wash.) Post Intelligencer (Feb. 7, 2009). Three-month-old Genevieve Carr and her parents have followed a naval tradition in which consecrations are conducted with a ship’s bell. The family attends Columbia Lakewood Community Church of the Brethren.

“Yeager elected senior pastor,” Chambersburg (Pa.) Public Opinion (Feb. 7, 2009). Harold E. Yeager has been elected as senior pastor of Chambersburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. He was installed on Feb. 1.

Obituary: Larry L. Mundt, Post Bulletin, Rochester, Minn. (Feb. 6, 2009). Larry L. Mundt, 60, died Feb. 5. He was a member of Lewiston (Minn.) Church of the Brethren, and a farmer for his entire life.

Obituary: Ethel L. Frazier, News Leader, Staunton, Va. (Feb. 6, 2009). Ethel Louise Frazier, 91, died Feb. 5. She was a member of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren in Crimora, Va. She had worked with DuPont during the 1940s.

“Lilly Endowment Awards Grants to Help Pastors Address Financial Challenges,” Lilly Endowment, Indianapolis, Ind. A release from Lilly Endowment mentioning Northern Indiana District as one of the church bodies to receive grants to help support pastors.

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