Mitch McClay

Mitch McClay

What years did you attend Friends University?

I attended Friends University from September 1975 to May 1978. I transferred in from Kansas State University. I played my freshman year for K-State on the men’s golf team.

Why did you choose Friends University?

I liked the idea of small class sizes and the personal interaction from instructors. I was interested in the biology degree to prepare for dental school. I was also interested in competing on the college golf team.

Who influenced you most during your time at Friends?

Two key role models, an instructor and an athletic coach, influenced me and were mentors to me:

1) Dr. G.R. Dove, Ph.D., was the head of the Department of Natural Sciences. He was very professional, was courteous to his students, and was generally interested in our academic and professional development as science students.

2) Jack Kater was the athletic director and head men’s golf coach. His leadership and positive life example as a role model greatly influenced me as a young man. He led the Friends University Men’s Golf Team to its first KCAC golf title in 1977. It was the first championship in the 27-year history of the golf program. Our team went on to win the KCAC title in 1978. The team placed 2nd in the KCAC Championship in 1976. Of all the coaches I competed for in my high school and college years, he was absolutely the best coach, life mentor and man I ever had the privilege to know and compete for as an athlete!

Share your best college memory while at Friends.

My best college memories were the camaraderie of being a fellow science student and winning our first conference golf title. We were presented college championship rings at the Convocation by Dr. Harold Cope, president. Dr. Williams, dean, and faculty and students present that day gave us an awesome ovation for achieving the first conference golf title in Friends University’s history since when the golf program was established in 1948. In 1978, we were awarded conference watches at the convocation ceremony.

What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at Friends?

Take your education seriously, study hard and have an attitude of “commitment to excellence.” The faculty and staff are committed to your success! If I had to summarize it up, I would say, “It all begins here at Friends University, but it starts with you!”

Describe Friends University in three words.

Fidelity, Zeal, Obedience

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

President of the Central Florida Library Cooperative, Employee of the Year and Librarian of the Year