Education

New president preparing for first year at Manhattanville

Following his appointment as the new president of Manhattanville College, Dr. Michael Geisler announced that the college is currently planning an inauguration ceremony for Oct. 23.

Geisler began his presidential duties at Manhattanville College on July 1 after a unanimous decision by the college’s board of trustees this past December to elect a new president, and the sudden retirement of Dr. Jon Strauss.

On July 1, Dr. Michael Geisler assumed the role as the 13th president of Manhattanville College, following the retirement of Dr. Jon Strauss. Photo courtesy Manhattanville College
On July 1, Dr. Michael Geisler assumed the role as the 13th president of Manhattanville College, following the retirement of Dr. Jon Strauss. Photo courtesy Manhattanville College

Geisler previously served as a vice president at Middlebury College, located in Vermont, for risk and compliance, schools abroad, language schools and graduate programs. He first joined Middlebury in 1992 as an associate professor of German.

While it has nearly been a month since he joined the school as its 13th president, Geisler said he has already started actively engaging the campus community in an effort to prepare for the upcoming fall semester. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to interact with the faculty [and students] since I arrived at the college,” he said.

To date, the new president has attended two faculty meetings and has organized a panel consisting of students to confer over future aspirations for Manhattanville, including the celebration of the college’s centennial year. In 1917, the college was located in Manhattan and was an all-women’s school named the College of the Scared Heart.

Geisler also highlighted some of the educational objectives he has set for the school. “One of my goals is to make the Westchester region and surrounding areas more aware of the critical work Manhattanville College does with its school of education [program],” he said.

He also intends on bringing the college up to a level where it will have at least three educational areas of distinction. An area of distinction, according to Geisler, is when a college supports learning, leadership development, and social, emotional and personal well-being within an educational program.

And although the president is yet to formally meet his new student body, he offered a bit of philosophical advice for students entering college for the first time.

“When you first start college, there’s always a time in your first or second semester when you feel as if you’re running into a wall. You have to understand that the wall is not solid and you can get through that wall,” he said.

Classes for Manhattanville College’s fall semester begin on Aug. 29.

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