Summer is bittersweet for Morningside College President John Reynders. Sure, the off months give him and administrators chances to fund-raise and plan for a new year – something that is fairly limited from August to May. But campus is quiet, too quiet.
By Greg Forbes, Sioux City Journal
Summer is bittersweet for Morningside College President John Reynders.
Sure, the off months give him and administrators chances to fund-raise and plan for a new year – something that is fairly limited from August to May. But campus is quiet, too quiet.
“You really do miss the faculty and the students,” said Reynders, who is starting his 18th year as president of the Sioux City college. “The core of the college is about the kids and the faculty and it gets lonely around here.”
That changes once the calendar switches from July to August. Faculty start to come back to the offices, then athletes begin late-summer conditioning. Pretty soon, freshman will arrive to begin orientation and before we know it, classes begin.
“When Aug. 1 hits, the place comes alive. You can just feel it,” he said. “There’s a lot of commotion and that’s great.”
One of Reynders’ main goals each year is to make sure the new students feel safe and welcome on campus. He said he and his wife, Robin, will host a dinner at their Morningside neighborhood home for each freshman in small groups throughout the first six or so weeks on campus.
“We want to make sure the freshmen know they’re a very important part of our family and our community,” he said.
Believe it or not, summer isn’t all poolside snoozing and sleeping in until noon for college administrators. Sure, Reynders has squeezed in a few rounds of golf here and there and Northwestern College President Greg Christy spent a week at the lake with his family. Dordt College president Erik Hoekstra likes to sail.
But three months of relaxation, it is not. The four-year college presidents around Siouxland said summer presents its own tasks.
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