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President’s Office

Strategic Plan

Community by Design 2021

McPherson College is committed to its mission to “Develop whole persons through scholarship, participation and service.”

As our Statement of Mission affirms, “community is central” to McPherson College’s identity. Community by Design 2021 is the result of a planning-by-community-versus-committee process consistent with the core values and practices of the Church of the Brethren, the college’s founding denomination. The strategic goals have emerged from a year-long dialogue that repeatedly engaged all members of the campus community. The goals focus on growth achieved through innovative academic programs driven by entrepreneurial faculty and a community that embodies well-articulated values, supported by safe, adequate facilities and a well-funded endowment.

To ensure our place as one of America’s great small colleges, McPherson College must foster an academic community that attracts 1,500 full-time students who are serious about career-oriented liberal arts by 2040. Community by Design 2021 is focused on answering the big questions that bear upon the future growth of McPherson College.


“How do we give liberal arts value? We’re going to lift it up through the entrepreneurial mindset, because we want our graduates to be enterprising and perceptive.” – President Michael Schneider

McPherson College believes the classic concept of liberal arts is intimately tied to the modern idea of entrepreneurship and strives to weave the concepts of entrepreneurship across the curriculum and student life, regardless of a student’s chosen major.

This idea transcends any one department, giving students the room to experiment and explore – while still landing on their feet. McPherson College students discover that the only failure is the failure to learn.

About President Schneider

Michael Schneider started his first enterprise at age 7 – a museum in his bedroom. The museum ultimately closed its doors to the public. But years later one of the collections on display – namely, (36) 1984 Topps Mark McGuire Olympic cards – funded Michael’s education at McPherson College, where he graduated with honors in 1996.

Michael got his big break when the partners at Summit Publishing invited him to run their company. With hard work and long hours, Michael looked up to find himself leading a company and only halfway through his 20s. He’s never looked back. His list of life adventures has included earning an MBA from the University of Denver, doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and supporting start-ups in everything from information technology to green energy.

In 2002, Michael’s alma mater called him to return, and he made the decision to answer that invitation. He has moved through a list of key staff positions at McPherson College, helping spearhead increased giving to the college and enrollment numbers now at a 40-year high. McPherson College boasts the largest endowment of any private college in Kansas. McPherson College has been named by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of their “Great Colleges to Work For” for the past four years.

Michael now finds himself as one of the youngest college president in the United States, a job he enthusiastically took on in 2009. Michael’s passionate vision to lift up liberal arts through an entrepreneurial mindset has sparked the interest and imagination of the entire campus. The concept is leading to major changes at MC. Ask him and he will tell you, “Education can be enterprising.”

Michael and his wife, Kandee, have two daughters, Perrin and Hayden.


Nation’s Top Automotive Industry Research Authority Partners With McPherson College Auto Restoration Program To Develop Mobility, Engineering Program

McPherson College will partner with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) — considered the most respected research source in the automotive industry — on a study exploring the future of […]

Global Research Powerhouse Teams Up With McPherson College To Expand Impact Of Student Debt Project

McPherson College has partnered with RTI International on an in-depth study and analysis of its pioneering Student Debt Project, one of the key initiatives supported by the $500 million double-match […]

McPherson College Honors Faculty, Staff and Trustees

McPherson College celebrated 20 employees and trustees for their years of service to the college with a reception, dinner, and awards program at Mingenback Theatre on March 7. The annual […]


McPherson College Establishes the Rob Walton Scholarship Fund

$1 million gift will go toward $500 million match campaign McPherson College has announced the creation of an endowed scholarship fund for students pursuing a degree in automotive restoration. The […]

McPherson College Announces Fall Horizon Fund Grant Recipients

For more than a decade, McPherson College has been encouraging the entrepreneurial ideas of its students by awarding mini-grants that help students develop innovative solutions to common problems. With more […]

Campus Commons groundbreaking ceremony

McPherson College “Breaks Ground” For New Campus Commons

In a ceremony during halftime of the Bulldog football game on Saturday, Nov. 5, President Michael Schneider and his guests “broke ground” to signal the beginning of the Campus Commons […]

Michael Schneider at press conference

McPherson College Announces Transformative $500 Million Commitment, Largest Gift to a Small Liberal Arts College in U.S. History

Anonymous estate gift will support construction of several new buildings, a rural and community health center, reduction in student debt and other initiatives. McPherson College, a Kansas liberal arts college […]

KICA Economic Impact Study

McPherson College Impact Estimated To Be $44.1 Million

Kansas Independent College Association today released the results of a study that estimates the impact of McPherson College on the statewide economy to be $44.1 million. McPherson College President Michael […]

In Memoriam: Dr. Paul Hoffman

Dr. Paul W. Hoffman, 90, McPherson College president from 1976 to 1996, passed away on September 30, 2022, in McPherson, Kan. Serving as the college’s 11th president, Dr. Hoffman provided […]

Kansas Community Colleges and Kansas Independent Colleges Sign Universal Transfer Agreement

From the Kansas Independent College Association. Student transfer opportunities expanded today after the Kansas Community Colleges and Kansas Independent Colleges announced initiation of a Global Transfer and Course Articulation Agreement that […]