Dr. Ronald Bolender, a long-time business professor and Dean of the University’s Graduate and Professional Studies programs, retired last month after 33 years at MVNU.
Bolender has made quite an impact on his colleagues and students during those years.
Recent graduateNick Norckauer is grateful for the influence Bolender has had in his life.
“I cannot thank him enough for helping me become the man I am today in my professional life,” he said.
Known for his minimalist lifestyle and his sound career advice, Bolender has plans to become a life coach so that he can continue to guide those interested in his expertise.
He will continue to teach online graduate business courses and use his free time to rediscover his favorite hobbies.
Bolender has been a part of MVNU, then MVNC, since its beginning in 1968. He was recruited as a student by the college’s first president, Dr. Stephen
Neese, before classes ever began. “I had the opportunity to visit [the school] during 1968 while the first campus buildings were under construction. I saw MVNU in its raw, unfinished form,” he said.
During his tenure here, Bolender has seen the University make many advancements, including those made by the GPS programs.
As a professor and in various administrative roles, he has been a big part of many of those advancements.
“The expansion of MVNU’s influence into the world of professional adult education has been the excitement of MVNU [for me] over the past 20 years,” he said.
Though Bolender has seen many positive changes during his time here, the core values of the University have remained a constant.
“The friendliness of students, staff, and faculty [has stayed the same]. It has a wonderful atmosphere,” he said.
Bolender praised the school’s long- term commitment to its motto, “To seek to learn is to seek to serve.”
Bolender will miss his interaction with students and colleagues, many of whom he has known for decades and refers to as his “second family.”
The feeling is mutual, according to Dr. Kevin Hughes, a colleague in the business department.
“For me, Ron was a leader, a friend, a colleague, a mentor, and best of
all, a big brother,” said Hughes. “For my entire career Ron has been the embodiment of MVNU.”
Bolender has left a lasting impression on the University over the years.
“I cannot imagine MVNU without him. But then again, he will still be here, because he has left an indelible mark on my life and the life of MVNU,” Hughes said.
Hughes, an alumni who has worked since 1988 in various roles for the University, has stepped up as the new Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Hughes most recently was Associate Dean of GPS.