Wittenberg’s 15th president, and keynote speaker, Michael Frandsen, spoke to the community for the first time as he helped welcome in the new academic year and the class of 2021 at the university’s Opening Convocation on Aug. 22.
The Opening Convocation is a way for Wittenberg to introduce the new class of freshmen and give students an idea of what it’s like to be a member of the Wittenberg community. This year, Frandsen spoke on who he is as a person, the string of firsts for himself and the class of 2021, as well as his belief that liberal arts are important to higher education.
“I believe what we do in liberal arts education is useful, but we must take the question of our usefulness seriously,” Frandsen said. “I think the institutions that will succeed in the future are those that are intentional about integrating all aspects of the enterprise into the education for its students.”
Frandsen was well received by the hundreds who filled the pews of Weaver Chapel as students and faculty prepared themselves for the new beginnings and heavy work load that comes along with being a college student.
Frandsen let the crowd know just how down to earth he truly is with jokes and stories from his past, before he commemorated the afternoon by taking his smart phone from his pocket to photograph the audience.
Many students are excited to see what is in store for Wittenberg’s future and how Frandsen will be able to make the adjustment into his new position.
“I admire what type of human he is and how personable he seems to be,” Liz Williams, ‘18, said. “Wittenberg is a small campus and I feel like his vibe will fit in with the students and faculty.”
Expectations for Frandsen are high among the student body because he was the unanimous choice by the Wittenberg University Board of Directors to take the reigns as president. After spending 10 years in corporate finance and 18 years working in higher education, there is no arguing that Frandsen brings to campus a new outlook, energy and experience.
Keenan Wilson, ‘18, said he was a fan of Frandsen and was excited for things to come.
“It seems like he has our school’s best interest at heart,” Wilson said. “For the past few years I was worried about the direction of the university because we could not find a new president, but I’m excited to see what he is able to do.”