May 22, 2024

On Friday, Feb. 10, students, faculty and staff waited in Geil Lounge to hear the news they’ve been waiting for months to hear, the announcement of Wittenberg’s 15th President.

For months, students and staff on campus had been receiving e-mail updates on the presidential search. Finally, the search has come to a close, with Michael Frandsen being named the university’s 15th president.

After an introduction from 2017 Class President, Zach Lough, ’17, Just Eve, the women’s a cappella group on campus, stepped forward, receiving a round of applause. When all was quiet again, the chair of the Board of Directors stepped forward to introduce the man all were waiting to meet. Students crowded over Geil Lounge and peered down at the spectacle taking place.

“He sees the big picture,” the chair said.

When finally, Frandsen’s name was announced, he stepped forward sporting a red tie in honor of Wittenberg.

“This is pretty cool,” Frandsen said, upon stepping up to the podium.

Frandsen held his sense of humor as the afternoon continued, but he made sure not to forget his gratitude.

“Today is an important day for me, and for my family, and it marks a milestone for Wittenberg,” Frandsen said. “I am so excited to become a part of this community.”

The new president was adamant that the students be aware of his presence and devotion to them, stating that he would be around campus, and involved. He noted not only the students he would meet, but also the teachers and thanked them for the jobs they do.

“[The teachers] help [the students] become people who are thoughtful, passionate and difference-makers,” Frandsen said.

A family man, Frandsen made sure to mention his wife, Sharon, and their two daughters, who will be involved in the community.

“I will lead with honor, integrity and openness,” Frandsen said, concluding his speech.

The crowd rolled on to another applause for the new member of Wittenberg’s community. Lough then offered a gift from the students to Frandsen. After some hesitation and joking between the two, Frandsen approached the podium and received his gift. Tearing open the wrapping, Frandsen pulled out a red Wittenberg blanket with a big smile.

“Alright,” Frandsen said. “A security blanket!”

The Wittenberg community has been unable to have the comfort of knowing a permanent President for months. Wittmen Crew, Wittenberg’s men’s acapella group, made sure to show the campus’ gratitude for their newfound comfort and new president.

“‘I forgot how nice romance is,’” Zach Hoyer, ‘19, sang. “‘I haven’t been there for the longest time.’”

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