Austin College Board Announces New President

SHERMAN, TEXAS—August 2017

The Austin College Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of Steven P. O’Day as the 16th president of Austin College, effective October 30, 2017. The announcement comes following a comprehensive national search. Interim president Michael Imhoff continues his role until October 30.

STEVEN P. O’DAYO’Day has more than 20 years of leadership experience in wide-ranging higher education administration.

He describes his career in higher education as “driven by a deeply held belief that we are called upon to personally educate and support the whole student—mind, body, and spirit—in the classroom and lab, on the athletics field, on the stage, in the studio, in the workplace, in the residence hall, throughout the global community, and in every facet of the student experience. This belief is grounded in a blending of the liberal arts and specialized training necessary for lives of significance, leadership, service, and integrity.”

He comes to Austin College from Lebanon Valley College (LVC) in Annville, Pennsylvania, where he serves as vice president of strategic initiatives and secretary of the college. During his four years at the private college with a student body of approximately 1,600 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, he also has served as interim vice president of advancement and special assistant to the president. He has held leadership roles at the college in institutional strategic planning and campus master planning and has overseen several major capital improvement projects, including the construction of a $20.8 million facility designed to house several of the college’s health professions academic programs. O’Day also has been instrumental in record-setting fundraising efforts, government and community relations, and has served as a member of the LVC senior leadership team. Prior to his work at LVC, O’Day spent 15 years at Franklin & Marshall College in a number of senior administration leadership roles.

Austin College Board of Trustees member Scott Austin, a 1983 graduate of the College, led the Search Committee for the 16th President of Austin College. “The committee worked very hard and very well together,” said Austin, “and it was clear all along the way that each of the eleven members was serving out of a deep felt love for Austin College. In addition to the committee, many members of the Austin College community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders made significant contributions to the process. This search was about the Austin College community as a whole.”

O’Day’s professional career began in the field of law. Having received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and a law degree from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, he spent 10 years as a practicing attorney. His background relates to a page from the Austin College history books: John D. Moseley, considered one of the most successful presidents (1953-1978) in Austin College’s history, also came to the presidency with a law degree.

Leaving the courtroom for the athletics field in 1997, O’Day took on the role of women’s soccer head coach at Franklin & Marshall College. Over the next 10 years, his teams amassed the most wins in the program’s history, and O’Day meanwhile made a permanent transition to higher education. While coaching, he also served as an adjunct professor of business law and as pre-law advisor, and was appointed associate dean for advisement, then associate dean for student academic affairs. Upon leaving coaching in 2007, he was appointed senior associate dean of the college, a position he held until 2013 when he left Franklin & Marshall to become special assistant to the president for innovative programs at LVC.

Steven O'Day and wife CeceMr. O’Day’s wife, Cecelia “Cece,” has been a high school English teacher and swimming coach for more than 20 years. The couple has one son, Ryan, who lives and works in the greater Boston area.

“As my wife, Cece, and I have gotten to know the Austin College community, we have met people who are truly committed to preparing students for rewarding careers and for full, engaged, and meaningful lives,” Mr. O’Day said. “We share this commitment and look forward to our work together to ensure Austin College’s place among the nation’s treasured liberal arts institutions for generations to come. “

Asked about family and faith, O’Day said that spirituality, faith, and service are important aspects of his life. He describes his own faith history as quite ecumenical, with family involvement in Catholic, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, and Presbyterian traditions. Lebanon Valley College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church; his parents were Catholic; his wife is a lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren. “I am very comfortable living and working in an environment that welcomes people of different faiths. I know Austin College shares this same ethos, and I deeply value the covenant between the College and the Presbyterian Church,” O’Day said.

Members of the Austin College faculty and staff served on the Search Committee for the 16th President. “Steven brings a wealth of valuable experience—strategic planning, fund raising, enrollment, student life—and a deep understanding of the role of liberal arts in today’s changing world,” said David Baker, professor of physics. “But what impressed me the most are his personal and professional qualities: collaboration, humility, and a genuine interest in students. Steven O’Day is a great fit for Austin College.”

“His diversified skill set and demonstrated success at small, private liberal arts schools make him uniquely qualified for our campus leadership,” said Michelle Filander, women’s basketball coach and staff representative to the selection committee. “We are confident and enthusiastic about his ability to lead Austin College as we face challenges both specific to our institution and those facing higher education at large.”

Slats McCord Golf Tournament

Slats McCord Golf Tournament

35th Annual Slats McCord Golf Tournament


Austin College Legends Weekend Event –
The fun-filled Slats McCord Golf Tournament is a scramble limited to 36 teams of four players. This is a popular event so register early to guarantee a spot. Cost is $125 per golfer. Shirts with collars and soft spikes are required.


Gold Hole Sponsor: $500* (includes golf for 2)
Crimson Hole Sponsor: $250* (includes golf for 1)
Sponsor a Student: $125 per student

Lunch will be served at the club following the tournament.
The winning team will be recognized and awards presented.
Lunch tickets for non-golfers are $15 per person.

Registration and Information

To register, mail or fax the attached form with payment, or register online:
For information, call Kristi Lucchese at 1.800.467.6646 or 903.813.2196, or
send email to [email protected]
Deadline for registration: July 28, 2017


Hilton Garden Inn
5015 South US 75, Denison, Texas, 75020 • 903.463.3331
Special rate per night: $93 plus tax for a standard double room.
To receive the special rate, mention you are with the Austin College
Legends event. Rooms are available on a first-come/first-served basis.

Austin College Appoints New Interim President

Austin College | Sherman Texas | June 30, 2017

The Austin College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Michael Imhoff to serve as interim president of the College as of July 1. Former president Dr. Marjorie Hass left in late June to assume the presidency of Rhodes College in Tennessee effective July 1. That move was announced last December and the Austin College Board of Trustees immediately set in motion the process to determine the next president of the College—only the 16th in its 168-year history.

Mike ImhoffImhoff served Austin College as vice president for Academic Affairs from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. He already knew the College well, having become a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry in 1970. He was named the Rupert B. Lowe Chair in Chemistry in 1995, and received the College’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997. His career in the classroom, which included courses in general chemistry and organic chemistry, involved research opportunities for many students. During his teaching career, he served as department chair and dean of the Sciences, as well as the first director of the Austin College Center for Environmental Studies.

“We are confident that Dr. Imhoff’s long-tenured experience and knowledge of Austin College and its constituencies, as well as his leadership and great wisdom, will bring a sense of steadiness and positive direction to this transition period,” said Scott Austin, Austin College 1983 graduate, member of the Board of Trustees, and chair of the Search Committee for the 16th President. “We are grateful to Mike for his love of Austin College and his willingness to serve.”

“Austin College is very special to me and I am honored to be asked to serve as the interim president during this transition,” Imhoff said. “I look forward to working with my many friends and colleagues as Austin College continues the tradition of offering the very finest liberal arts education.”

Imhoff was selected as the College’s Homer P. Rainey Award recipient in 2013. Announcing the award, Tim Millerick, vice president for Student Affairs, said that Mike brought a combination of administrative skill, calm demeanor, and personal integrity to his role as vice president. “The benefit to the College was enormous and his commitment to liberal arts education is deep,” Millerick said. “As a faculty member in the Sciences, he put his time where his beliefs were and made major contributions to the overall academic program of the College. He has what is regarded as the single most important intellectual quality: curiosity. This led him to climb over the walls of his discipline and made him an outstanding teacher and administrator.”

Upon retirement in May 2013, after 43 years of service to the College, Imhoff was granted status as professor emeritus of chemistry and vice president emeritus of Academic Affairs. He had been instrumental in the planning and design of the College’s IDEA Center, and its opening in Fall Term 2013 was a fitting capstone to Imhoff’s esteemed career in academics.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Riverside and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

The Search for the 16th President

With the efforts of the nationally recognized search firm of Wheless Partners, selected to assist the board in identifying and recruiting qualified candidates for the new president, the search committee received a vetted pool of aspirants in May. The search committee since has narrowed those to 10 candidates, completed video interviews to narrow the field to five, and now begins personal interviews with the finalists. “Things are happening; we are moving forward, and I feel very confident about the future president of Austin College,” Austin said.

Imhoff added, “There is great anticipation on the Austin College campus as we look forward to the arrival of new president. It is indeed a rare event. In my 43-year career at the college I have engaged in only three transitions of presidential leadership.”

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

“Urban Dialog: Science After Dark” Discusses Cloning

“Urban Dialog: Science After Dark” Discusses Cloning

“Urban Dialog: Science After Dark”, returns on June 6, 2017, from 7pm to 8pm, and will feature a discussion on “Cloning and Bio-Ethics”. The event will be held at Grayson Hall, 113 S. Travis Street, in downtown Sherman’s Kelly Square. The event encourages attendees to discuss their opinions with each other and with subject matter experts in a friendly, social environment. Admission to the event is free with complimentary snacks and beverages provided courtesy of the Sherman Rotary Club. “Urban Dialog: Science After Dark” is a joint production of The Sherman Museum, Austin College, and the Sherman Rotary Club. Speakers will include Dr. Karánn Durland, Professor of Philosophy; Religious Studies Department Chair from Austin College, and Dr. John Richardson, Associate Professor of Biochemistry; Director of the STEM Teaching and Research Leadership Program from Austin College. Shawn Kirby of the Herald-Democrat will moderate the event.

Read more….

Urban Dialog Science After Dark

Two Area Women Receive ATHENA Leadership Awards

Two Area Women Receive ATHENA Leadership Awards

Athena AwardsAustin College | May 5, 2017

Sherman, Texas

Austin College recognized two exemplary leaders from the region on May 3, awarding the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award® to Michelle Castle, branch manager at Guild Mortgage Company, and the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award to Trish Bridges, director of critical care services at Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center. The event was presented by the College’s Center for Community and Regional Development and its Texoma Women Get Connected program. At the luncheon, Kourtny Garrett, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., spoke about her work with nonprofit agencies.

ATHENA Leadership Award Nominees

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to individuals who have attained and embody the highest level of professional excellence in their business or profession, devote time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.

Michelle CastleCastle, the region’s 2017 honoree, opened the Sherman branch of Guild Mortgage in 2011 with three employees, and since has added four locations and increased the support staff to almost 30. She is recognized for creating an office culture and processes that serve as a role model for Guild Mortgage branches across the country, and often presents at the company’s national summit to share her marketing expertise. Castle also is known for mentorship and strong support of career advancement for women working in the mortgage banking business. A generous sponsor of local charity events, including the Guild Breakfast with Santa at Sherman’s Snowflake Festival, she serves as board president of the Child & Family Guidance Center of Texoma.

Other nominee honorees for the ATHENA Leadership Award were Janis Fletcher, City of Sherman certified court clerk in the Municipal Court; and Leigh Ann Sims, commercial loan officer at Legends Bank.

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Nominees

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and clearly serve as role models for young women both personally and professionally.

ATHENA Young Professional recipient for 2017, Bridges was recognized for her leadership skills and heart for service early in her career as a nurse. Today, she is the director of critical care services at WNJ Regional Medical Center, which encompasses several departments in the hospital including the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Room. Beyond the hospital’s walls, Trish has been described as an “invaluable” member of the North Texas Young Professionals, first as a volunteer and then on the board of directors. She currently services as NTYP president

The other nominee for the 2017 Young Professional Leadership Award was Mikayla Stocks, volunteer coordinator, case worker, and grant writer at Grayson County Shelter.  

Sponsors for the 2017 event included Texoma Health Foundation, United Way of Grayson County, Austin College Institutional Advancement staff in honor of Jill Joiner Roberts, Kristine McKinney in memory of Clara Blackford Smith, and Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center. Event sponsorships benefit the College’s Social Entrepreneurship for Poverty Alleviation (SEPA) summer intern program.

 Austin College reinstated the local awards three years ago, with nominations open to leaders in Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties. Nomination information for 2018 honorees can be found at