MILLIGAN COLLEGE –– Day one has been completed for Bill Greer as Milligan College’s new president.
Greer, a 17-year faculty member and administrator at Milligan, officially took over the school’s presidency from Don Jeanes Saturday. Jeanes had been president since 1997. Jeanes announced this past fall he would retire. Greer was announced as his successor in March.
“We’ve moved into the office over the weekend and ready to start work today,” Greer said in an interview from the president’s office Monday after a breakfast and coffee fellowship with the faculty and staff on campus Monday morning.
Greer, who is now the school’s 15th president, said he wanted to spend time with the faculty and staff who were on campus this summer to start things off right.
“The support of the faculty and staff absolutely is what will make me successful, I think, as president and help Milligan continue to move forward,” Greer said. “I came up through the ranks of faculty and administration to the presidency, and started out as an adjunct professor, so I do very much feel as if I am one of them and I am very close to them and they’re special to me.”
Edwina Greer, Bill’s wife and now Milligan’s first lady, plans to get to know the campus for a while before deciding on what projects to undertake. In the past few weeks she and her husband have met former presidents and first ladies. Many have offered advice on how to proceed.
“And the best advice they gave us was just get to know the place,” she said. “Get to know the people. Don’t jump in and do too much too fast. Have a year of presence, a year of hospitality and find out what the needs are. Find out where your gifts fit.”
For his part, Greer said he wanted to continue to advance Milligan. He said that charge is made easier by the legacy of Jeanes and the strong support from donors, alumni and supporting churches.
“I think the president’s primary role is to carry the vision for the school, help keep us focused on our mission, which has been for many, many years, really since our founding almost 150 years ago, to educate men and women to be servant leaders,” Greer said. “And that’s what we believe in very deeply and what I want us to continue to be focused on. We may do things a little differently. I’m sure we’ll come up with some new ways to do some things, add some new programs. I’m sure that we’ll be seeking ways to be a better and better institution, but I’m very grateful that Dr. Jeanes left Milligan in great shape financially.”