It was in December that the Trustees of Manhattanville College came to the unanimous decision to appoint Dr. Michel Geisler as its thirteenth President, and on July 1, 2016, Dr. Michel Geisler assumed his well-deserved position in Reid Castle.
President Geisler came to Manhattanville from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where he served as the Vice President for Risk and Compliance, Professor of German, and former Vice President for the Language Schools and Schools Abroad for 20+ years. For some, the move from Vermont to Westchester County may have been a difficult adjustment, but for President Geisler, it was something that was already on his radar.
“I already knew I wanted to move to Westchester County,” said President Geisler, “So the idea of having a campus that is as beautiful as ours is in a location only an hour from New York City is hard to beat.”
However, the allure and location of Manhattanville aren’t the only assets of the College that drove President Geisler’s decision to join our Valiant family. In fact, President Geisler stated, “I’m here because I passionately believe in the importance of small, liberal arts institutions.”
Manhattanville College takes pride in their purpose, which states, “Our mission is to educate students to be ethical and socially-responsible leaders in a global community.” Though this may be a statement not all students may be familiar with yet, Geisler is no stranger to the Manhattanville mission. In fact, he identifies so much with the mission statement that if someone had asked him to write one himself, it would have looked very similar to the one in place.
“The focus [a professor and/or faculty member has] on each individual student is to encourage each student to strive in the growing world around them,” Geisler said. In addition to his passion for the Manhattanville mission, President Geisler hopes for the College to continue to breakdown its interdisciplinary boundaries.
“I want the international students to interact with American students, and I want athletes to befriend non-athletes, commuters to mix with residents,” President Geisler expresses, “We have to break up the silence.” Continuing in conversation about the surrounding world, President Geisler mentioned, “Some things that are very important to me are food, water, the environment, identity, religion, energy, migration, technology, our infrastructure as in trains, tunnels, bridges, and roads, unemployment, poverty, and war and terrorism… But these are all issues that cannot be solved by one nation, by one country; it needs to be solved regionally and together.” And doing it together is what Valiants do best.
In a small, liberal arts college such as Manhattanville, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and all members of the Valiant community are inevitably bound to become entangled in a tight-knit community— and President Geisler fits right in like a glove.
“I will go twice a week to eat at Benziger Cafeteria, and I would love for students to come and sit with me,” said President Geisler, “And I will be there for students to talk.”
In addition to President Geisler joining students for dinner, attending sporting events, and partaking in campus festivities, he will be holding office hours every Thursday from 4 o’clock p.m. until 5 o’clock p.m. in the President’s Office in Reid Castle.
President Michael Geisler is welcomed by Manhattanville with open arms, and all are intrigued to see what he has in store.