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Midland’s Merritt Nelson named as Thrivent Fellow for 2017-2018


Midland University Vice President for Student Affairs Merritt Nelson was named recently to the prestigious Thrivent Fellows Program, a rigorous 12-month executive fellowship to develop the leadership capacity of the colleges and universities of the Lutheran Church. 

“I am honored to have been selected for such a distinguished and well-respected program,” Nelson said. “Midland University encourages students to pursue their passions, and this fellowship allows me the opportunity to pursue one of mine.  I look forward to the impact my participation in this program will have on our current and future students.”

The purpose of the Fellows Program is to identify, encourage, develop, and equip high capacity individuals for leadership roles in Lutheran colleges and universities.  Candidates were selected based on their dedication to the mission and distinctiveness of their college, a strong record of service, a clear potential for top-level leadership, and their vocational calling to lead their institution.

Through intensive retreats, seminars, and executive coaching, Fellows gain increased knowledge and understanding of Lutheran traditions and values, stronger awareness of their own leadership capacities, thorough knowledge of key management and financial issues, discernment of personal and professional goals that will equip them to fulfill their callings, a plan for professional growth, and an expanded network of relationships with other higher education leaders.   

Nelson joined Midland University in July 2013, coming to the institution after serving as Activities Director at Oakland-Craig Public Schools. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from Wayne State College.

As Vice President for Student Affairs at Midland, Nelson is responsible for all aspects of student and residential life and leads a team that is tasked with promoting a positive life-transforming environment within campus life. Midland has seen dramatic enrollment growth over the past few years that can be attributed to the university’s emphasis on one-on-one advising, enhanced opportunities and a student-centric culture focused on student success.

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