The University of Mount Union names alumnus as new president

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The University of Mount Union Board of Trustees has announced that Gregory L. King ’89 has been named president of the University, effective March 1, 2023. King will become the 14th individual to lead the institution in its 177-year history and the third Mount Union alumnus to fulfill the role, following in the footsteps of William H. McMaster 1899, who served as president from 1908 to 1938, and Ronald G. Weber ’38, whose tenure as president extended from 1967 to 1980. 

Since 2008, King has served the institution as the vice president for advancement, managing and overseeing the University’s fundraising activities to advance the mission and strategic goals of the institution. During his tenure as the institution’s chief fundraising officer, Mount Union has successfully completed and exceeded three fundraising campaigns – a five-year, $50 million comprehensive campaign in 2021 with $50.2 million raised; a two-year, $25 million capital campaign for the health and medical sciences and the fine and performing arts in 2014 with $31 million raised; and a seven-year, $80 million comprehensive campaign in 2010 with $83 million raised. Additionally, during his tenure, the University established the President’s Rescue Fund, a reserve earmarked to assist juniors and seniors who have exhausted all financial aid opportunities but desire to remain at Mount Union to complete their degrees, and grew the institution’s endowment to $150 million.

Since 2021, King has also served as interim vice president for enrollment services with a focus on rebuilding the admission team and stabilizing enrollment. Since taking on this role, the University has turned around a three-year declining enrollment with a 12% increase in the new student class in one year.

“Greg has extensive experience in the facets of running a university,” said Matt Darrah, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. “His leadership experience, institutional knowledge, meaningful relationships, and immense passion for Mount Union uniquely qualify him for this role, which will provide him with an opportunity to further impact the future of his alma mater.” 

In addition to his current roles, King has also previously served the institution in various roles in advancement, enrollment services and student affairs. As a member of the institution’s administrative team, he has also had the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, management, trustee relations, diversity and inclusion, budgeting, financial aid, alumni and community relations, academics and marketing. Additionally, he has served as a consultant for Gonser Gerber, an advancement and leadership consulting firm located in Naperville, IL.

“For more than 30 years, Greg has worked in positions of increasing responsibility in a variety of areas on campus,” said Darrah. “He started in an entry-level position as an admission counselor and worked his way up to a member of the administrative team, providing him with a 360-degree view of the University. He’s been a student-athlete, intern, admission counselor, assistant director, director, lecturer, associate vice president, interim vice president and vice president, and has had the opportunity to work with nearly every office and department on campus to carry out the institution’s mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship. This diversity of exposure and experiences has allowed him to see Mount Union from almost every angle and uniquely positions him to take the University to the next level.”

A native of Bedford, Ohio, King graduated from Mount Union in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and sport management. He joined the staff at Mount Union that same year as the institution’s first intern of the Wayne Manzilla Diversity Internship Program, an opportunity that continues on campus today. This program was established in honor of Wayne Manzilla, who graduated from Mount Union in 1888 as the first African-American to earn a degree from the institution, and seeks to diversify the staff at the University by employing recent minority graduates and helping them to complete advanced degrees and assume full-time positions at the University. King then earned a Master of Education degree in higher education administration from Kent State University in 1993 and recently completed the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Institute for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education for Aspiring Presidents. 

“I have dedicated my entire career to the University of Mount Union, an institution for which I have a great love and passion,” said King. “I have a strong desire to shape the future of the institution and work collaboratively with others to positively impact our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. 

“I resonate deeply with the University’s commitment to an education that is grounded in the liberal arts and emboldened by career-specific preparation as I know personally how life-changing a Mount Union education can be,” King continued. “My own transformational experience as a student here jumpstarted my lifelong passion for higher education and the private University experience. Seeing thousands of students benefit from the same close-knit, high-quality learning environment I did as a student has been sincerely gratifying.” 

A longtime member of the Alliance community, King has served on the AAA Club Alliance Board, Alliance Family YMCA Board and Alliance United Way Board. He has been honored with the Pathfinder Award from Alliance City Schools (2019), Stark County Contemporary Trailblazer Award from Multi-Development Services of Stark County (2012) and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from Mount Union (1993). He and his wife, Callie, also a Mount Union alumna, reside in Alliance. 

King’s appointment comes following a presidential search process that began this fall under the leadership of Dr. Rick Drake, vice chair of the Board of Trustees. Over the course of the next few months, he will work closely with current interim president Dr. Robert Gervasi and the administrative team to transition into this new leadership role.