The Kansas Wesleyan Community came together in celebration Friday afternoon as the 19th President of The school was inaugurated. Family friends, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered on campus as Dr. Matthew R. Thompson climbed the steps at Pioneer Hall to take the oath of office.
Dr. Thompson, who actually arrived in Salina back in April after being hired by the Board of Trustees, grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He met his wife while at school in Georgia and returned to his home state to work at Florida Southern University.
Dr. Thompson spoke with KSAL News earlier in the week. He says that he brings a fresh look to an institution that is celebrating 127 years in higher education. He has several ambitious long-term goals including getting enrollment at the school up to 1,000.
In the short term, Dr. Thompson is the driving force behind a sports complex project. The new $7.5 million sports complex will include a new football stadium, track, practice field, and locker room facility. The goal is to have it complete by next fall, in time for the 2014 football season.
Friday’s inauguration event was capped off by a carnival-style family celebration open to the community.