Two female students wearing black gloves and aprons cutting vegetables in a culinary class
Two nursing students and an instructor standing over hospital bassinet with toy baby in it
New Initiatives Fund: Help make great ideas grow
Physical therapy student and instructor looking on as he wraps a womans arm in a large black band
Marching band members on green field with horns to their mouth

anchester University must be nimble and seize opportunities that quickly align its offerings with the needs of today’s students.

The New Initiatives Fund enables Manchester to explore ideas and help the great ones grow.

One example is the Nursing Program, offering traditional and accelerated options.

It comes at a critical time when the nation needs more well-rounded health care professionals ready to provide ethical, evidence-based and compassionate care for diverse individuals and communities.

“I decided to go into nursing because it has been my dream since I was little,” said Eri Tamada, who moved from California to Indiana to enroll in the inaugural class of Manchester’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She already had a degree in graphic design, and the 16-month program is specifically for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and would like to pursue a path toward becoming a registered nurse.

“It’s been awesome just to know we are making history at Manchester University,” she said.

Dr. Harry Keffer ’59 and Dr. Jan Keffer helped make that history happen. Retired health care professionals, the Keffers provided nursing labs in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, as well as scholarships to aid Manchester’s first nursing students.

They said it’s important for Manchester to keep moving forward, to be bold.

“Somebody would say, ‘Well, aren’t you taking a chance?’ Well, maybe you are, but if you don’t extend your neck out a little bit, you’re never going to see what’s on the other side of the fence,” Harry Keffer said.

It’s critically important for us to be able to move from where we are today to where we need to be in future.” – President Dave McFadden
The New Initiatives Fund also brought back the marching band, a Manchester tradition from 1927 until the middle 1960s. The Spartan Pride Marching Band allows students who loved the experience in high school to play at the college level under Assistant Professor Scott Humphries, the 2020 Indiana Music Educators Association College/University Outstanding Music Educator.

Revived in fall 2020 with generous support from John and Carol Zeglis, the band plays at football games and other University events, a spirited addition to the student experience.

The New Initiatives Fund will allow Manchester to cultivate bold, collaborative projects – inside and outside the classroom – that create a distinctively Manchester experience for students.

“It’s critically important for us to be able to move from where we are today to where we need to be in future, and those funds will make that possible,” said President Dave McFadden ’82. “The New Initiatives Fund helps finance projects and activities that restricted funding cannot. It can nurture our already collaborative culture and allow us the flexibility to make bold choices.”

Dr. Harry Keffer and Dr. Jan Keffer
Above: Dr. Harry Keffer ’59 and Dr. Jan Keffer
Giving to the New Initiatives Fund will help Manchester pinpoint opportunities and avoid expensive mistakes by freeing up money to do thorough market research. Is there a demand we can fill? Is the project right for Manchester? Will it bring in enough students to be viable? Should we revitalize an existing program and make it more relevant for today’s students?

“The fund provides seed money for helping new initiatives get off the ground and help us let the wider world know what we have to offer,” said Melanie Harmon, vice president for advancement. “Most importantly, the New Initiatives Fund will help continue the Manchester tradition of being good stewards of the funds you entrust to us.” Where might donations go? It could be that Manchester will create another program like digital media arts in communication studies, which is now one of Manchester’s fastest growing majors.

It could enhance the Honors Program experience, which is thriving with Director Tim McKenna-Buchanan and attracting more motivated and academically accomplished students to our North Manchester campus.

We prove – time and time again – that we can develop academic programs that benefit society and serve our students.

The goal is $6.5 million
With your help, Manchester will expand opportunities that will provide a transformative, uniquely Manchester, experience.