Board of trustees establishes goals for Hannibal-LaGrange University at annual meeting


HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Hannibal-LaGrange University board of trustees met on campus for its annual fall meeting on Oct. 13.

Highlights from the meeting were:

  • New officers were elected and will begin their terms Jan. 1. Officers elected were: Mike Atherton, chairman; Bobbie Crane, vice chairman; Gene Downing, treasurer; and Vinita Henry, secretary.
  • New faculty, staff and student ambassadors were introduced.
  • Richard Todd was named professor emeritus, celebrating his many years of dedication to the university. He graduated from Michigan State University with a doctorate in physics in 1971 before coming to Hannibal-LaGrange in 1976. He was a professor of physics, teaching at HLGU for 42 years before retiring in 2015. Todd also began the women’s softball team.
  • Virginia Wolgemuth, a recent addition to the faculty and director of the Craigmiles School of Nursing, shared her vision of preparing nurses for their future careers. She spoke on the need to equip nurses for when they hit the frontlines in the healthcare world. When people seek help for their health, nurses are many times the first ones they will interact with.
  • A goal of $1.5 million for the annual fund was established and will run from July 1, 2023 until June 30, 2024. The Institutional Advancement Department has applied for grants as well as called on a variety of individuals to give towards the fund, such as trustees, presidents, alumni, community, employees and friends of the school.
  • Enrollment is up this fall from last year. Campus visits and applications have increased dramatically as well.

President Matz shared four strategic initiatives as HLGU strives to continue to grow for the future.

  • Increase enrollment. There are indicators that the 2024 incoming class will be larger than years past. Admissions has already received more than 130 applications for next fall, up from 42 last fall.
  • Focus on financial health and operate in a lean manner.
  • Work to increase fundraising.
  • Work to change the perspective as to how HLGU operates as an institution. Combined faculty and staff meetings have been implemented where there are opportunities for employees to ask questions and be better informed of the operations of the institution.

In a press release, Mark Anderson, chairman of the trustees, said, “We had an excellent meeting. In reviewing where we were two years ago and where we are today, it’s very exciting. As Dr. Matz described the rebuilding of the ancient wall, the wall here is half built. There’s a lot of work to do to finish at HLGU. I’m anticipating that great things are going to happen in the days to come, particularly as we are seeing our enrollment numbers for next year. We’re way ahead of the ballgame. I believe the greatest days for the university are ahead.”

Matz shared, “This was a great opportunity for our trustees to be here and to pour into our campus life through their service, their time and their donations to the university. We’re grateful for their continued commitment to HLG and to the turnaround that we’re seeing God do here.”

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