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2016 – 2017: A Year to Remember

It has been my privilege to serve as President of MVNU since November 2012. This assignment has been the greatest privilege of my life, and it has required my full attention.

Fall 2017 began with a four-year high enrollment of 2,245. This total included traditional and graduate/professional students. The ribbon-cutting ceremony with the sidewalks lined with faculty and staff as well as members from area churches led to tears and laughter. This was the official beginning of the school year. Most of those students returned for spring classes.

The 2016-2017 year has been marked by spiritual sensitivity around the altar. The integrity and honesty of our students inspire me. While our enrollment is pushing the University to its limits for housing, this is the kind of problem that is good to have.

During this year MVNU participated in a Campus Climate survey in order to assess the transparency and health of our campus regarding Title IX, that is, sexual violence against women. MVNU ranked in the upper tiers of responses from other Ohio colleges and universities. This meant that our faculty, staff, and students knew where to go with concerns, complaints, and/or to report problems. Further, members of our campus were confident that issues would be addressed at all levels.

The University added a new bus to its fleet this year. This 55-seat bus equipped with video screens, USB ports, and electric outlets was a great addition. The ability to travel more safely and with greater comforts has augmented the quality of life on campus.

MVNU dedicated the Ramser Tennis Courts on the western edge of campus. The eight lighted courts will host inter-collegiate competition and recreational opportunities for our students. We will also open up the courts to the Mount Vernon High School and members of the community.

A member of the faculty (Margaret Allotey-Pappoe) and a staff member (Cheryl Furniss) received the first ever Hospitality Awards from the Board of Trustees and the University. This award recognizes faculty and staff who provide extraordinary service to the MVNU community as well as visitors to this campus. This was presented at the fall University Dinner.

WNZR celebrated its 30th year of ministry on campus and to the community. The leadership of Joe and Marcy Rinehart is always a source of pride. Recently, they successfully completed their Lifeline 2017 fundraising efforts and exceeded their goal of $62,000.

The University received word during this year that it ranked in the top 50 most affordable schools. MVNU was also selected as a “Best Value College for 2017.” Both of these awards recognize the work we all do to make it possible for people to attend this great University.

MVNU continues to increase its presence in downtown Mount Vernon. The Ariel Foundation has purchased the former Farley and Moore/JCPenney building and donated it to us for our Engineering Department. It is hoped that it will be ready for classes in the fall of 2018.

These are just a few of the events and recognitions that made 2016-2017 great. Much more took place on this campus and its various sites than can be named or even known.

For the successes and triumphs of this year we give God the glory. The lessons learned, while often painful, are also a reminder of the graciousness of God. After all, MVNU is a prayer of praise and petition to a God who is all over this place.

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