News-Journal, January 13, 1941


"The Trustees of Manchester College have extended an invitation to Dr. Vernon F. Schwalm of McPherson, Kansas, president of McPherson College to accept the presidency of Manchester College conditional upon his release from his present position." Such was the brief announcement signed by W.S. Barnhart, secretary of the Board of Trustees of Manchester College, and given out at the conclusion of the trustees' meeting about 3:00 Saturday afternoon. In response to a long distance telephone call put through at once to Dr. Schwalm, it is said that he indicated his happiness to accept the position providing he can obtain release from his present contract at McPherson. Dr. Schwalm would succeed President Otho Winger whose resignation becomes effective at the close of the school year after thirty years as head of Manchester College.

Dr. Schwalm is one of the most outstanding and highly regarded men of the Church of the Brethren, not only as president of one of the church schools but also as one of the leaders in the national councils of the church organization. He served as Moderator for the 1938 General Conference of the Church of the Brethren, held in Kansas. He also is prominent in civic affairs and is a member of the State Board of Education in Kansas.

A native of Wakarusa, Indiana, Dr. Schwalm came to Manchester in 1904 for his Academy work and for a teacher's training course, and then returned to his home town to teach in the high school. When Otho Winger became president of Manchester in 1911 he sought to build up his faculty by encouraging certain high school teachers to teach in the academic department and at the same time continue their own college work.

V.F. Schwalm was one of those teachers, whom President Winger persuaded to come to Manchester. He received his A.B. degree from Manchester in 1913 and went to the University of Chicago for his master's degree which he obtained in 1914. He then returned to Manchester to teach in the history department. He was dean of the college from 1918 until 1927, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1926.

It was on an April Sunday in 1927, when Dean and Mrs. Schwalm were attending a birthday dinner at the Otho Winger home, that a representative of mcPherson College called by 'phone to make an appointment with the dean for the next day. He had come with the authority of the trustees of McPherson College to invite Dean Schwalm to become president of that institution. He decided to accept and began his successful career as a college president. After ten years of effort he finally succeeded about two years ago in getting McPherson College admitted into the North Central Association of Colleges. At present McPherson is an institution of a few more than 300 students and twenty-two teachers.

Dr. and Mrs. Schwalm have an adopted daughter, Betty, who is a senior at McPherson. Mrs. George Phillips, wife of the Rev. Mr. Phillips who is pastor of the church in Elkhart, is a sister of Dr. Schwalm's, and her daughter, Dorothy Phillips is in school at Manchester now. Dr. Schwalm's mother continued her residence at Wakarusa, and died just a short time ago at the age of ninety.

Trustees of Manchester College are: N.B. Wine, president, Dayton, Ohio; O.D. Buck, vice-president, Franklin Grove, Illinois; W.S. Barnhart, secretary, Indianapolis; T.A. Shively, Peru; G.S. Strausbaugh, Columbiana, Ohio; J.E. Ulery, Onekama, Michigan; Edward Shepfer, Sugar Creek, Ohio; John Frederick, Nappanee; J.J. Anglemeyer, Williamsown, Ohio; Calvin Ulery, North Manchester; I.D. Heckman, Cerro Gordo, Illinois; Elmer Hersch, Elgin, Illinois; O.D. Werking, Hagerstown; Ruth Shriver, Elgin, Illinois; and Otho Winger, ex-officio. President Winger did not attend the trustees' meeting Saturday.