(Posted March 28, 2016)

Jo Young Switzer, president emerita of Manchester University, center, receives a Juniata College honorary degree, flanked by James A.Troha, left, president of Juniata, and James Lakso, right, provost emeritus at Juniata.
Jo Young Switzer, president emerita of Manchester University, center, receives a Juniata College honorary degree, flanked by James A.Troha, left, president of Juniata, and James Lakso, right, provost emeritus at Juniata.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jo Young Switzer, president emerita of Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Juniata College at a ceremony prior to her lecture "Women and Leadership: Where has Progress Gotten Us?" at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science.


Switzer, who retired as Manchester's president in 2014, will be presented with the honorary degree by James A. Troha, president of Juniata, and her citation for the degree will be read by James Lakso, provost emeritus at Juniata. She will speak on the effective characteristics for leadership, focusing on women in leadership roles. She has published scholarly articles on women in leadership roles, such as TV anchors, college presidents and women at the top levels of the federal government.


Switzer became president of the Manchester University in 2004, when it was known as Manchester College. Later, the institution was reclassified as a university in 2014. During her presidency, she proposed a doctoral-level pharmacy school and secured a $35 million grant for its implementation. She started working at Manchester in 1982, when she was hired as an associate professor of communication studies. She began her administrative career in 1993, when she was named vice president and dean for academic affairs.

She started her career as an English teacher at secondary schools in Indiana and Michigan. She started her career in higher education in 1979 when she served as an assistant professor of communication. She was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and served as academic intern to the chancellor and vice chancellor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne in 1991.

Switzer is an alumna of Manchester, earning a bachelor's degree in English in 1969. She went on to earn a master's degree in 1977 in communication studies and a doctorate in 1980, both from the University of Kansas.

She has received numerous awards, including a 2014 Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor the governor can bestow on a citizen of Indiana, and the 2013 Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.