Assoc. News Editor
On April 1 at 3:45 p.m. over 50 students, faculty, and alumni welcomed Dr. John Anderson, Millersville University’s 14th president, at the Marauder Statue to commemorate his first day in office. The support group accompanied President Anderson as he walked from the Marauder Statue to Biemesderfer Center, where the university’s presidential headquarters are held. One student, Rachel Keslosky, a freshmen, was excited to take the memorable journey with President Anderson. “I have only been here for a year, so it will be interesting to grow with our new president,” said Keslosky.
Dr. Anderson, former president of Alfred State College in New York, was selected by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) as Millersville University’s next president on December 14, 2012. The first time Dr. Anderson visited Millersville was on October 2, 2012, to visit with the Council of Trustees as a candidate for president.
“For me and my wife, our first impression was one of a real sense of community. All the students I meet are thrilled to be at Millersville,” said President Anderson. As Millersville’s new president, Dr. Anderson is ”looking forward to meeting encouraging students and a wonderful community with thousands of alumni.” As for any immediate plans after April 1, Dr. Anderson said making “sweeping changes” would be problematic and the coming months are to early to say “you know things.”
For the upcoming months of Dr. Anderson’s presidency, there will be no such thing as a “normal day,” with events starting “early in the morning and ending late at night.” One of the most important things on President Anderson’s schedule is to attend “ a lot of meetings early on,” such as key constituent meetings, community meetings, and various student meetings.
President Anderson will also “block out” time on his schedule to walk around campus and engage with students by“popping into classrooms,” having lunch with various organizations, and figuring out where buildings on campus located. “I want to focus on being the university’s biggest cheerleader and meeting as many students as possible,” said President Anderson. “In a new position its important to focus on a few things at once, as to not dilute efforts”
Dr. Anderson is excited about his new position because of Millersville’s “outstanding and rich faculty, great new facilities, and new resources.” Dr. Aminta Breaux, vice president of student affairs, believes that innovative renovations and new facilities at MU “support student learning outside of the classroom,” and provide venues for students to “create, explore, and learn.” As a student affairs professional, Dr. Breaux is highly concerned with developing initiatives that allow students to embrace a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle on campus and in life. “I see it as our top priority to help students recognize and embrace the value of healthy living and wellness in all its forms,” said Breaux. This includes intellectual wellness, physical wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, and cultural wellness.”
Another issue facing President Anderson is addressing the future of Millersville, which will be “part of a conversation that will take place over early moments with students, faculty, and staff.” Millersville has a foundation grounded in excellence, and “I’m looking to build on that,” said President Anderson.
“There is much that Millersville has to offer its students and we have excelled in many areas of the university,” said Dr. Breaux.”Whether it be in the opportunities afforded to our students for global education, the student and university commitment to service in the community.”
Talking about the future should include building upon the “wonderful reputation” that Millesville University has in the region, and figuring out how to ”expand our reputation beyond that region,” said Dr. Anderson. The “seeds” to build national recognition are already establishment,” said President Anderson. ”I think that it is beyond possible to build national recognition through faculty programs, student competitions.”
The only thing President Anderson is dreading with the new position is the time that will taken away from his favorite activities. Outdoor activities such as, “cross country skeeing, sailboating, and fly fishing are among President Anderson’s favored activities. Another beloved hobby is playing guitar, an activity, remarked Dr. Anderson, that might continue in my office during appropriate times.
President Anderson has no timetable for leaving the university, and understands that “some things are beyond my control.” As Dr. Anderson described it, he will be a dedicated president. “If the university is pleased with my performance and I remain happy and challenged.”