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Longtime professor extolls Shearer’s presidential qualities at retirement lunch

Professor Don Dugi and President ShearerPolitical science professor Don Dugi, (left) who has witnessed the entire 27-year tenure of retiring President Charles L. Shearer, paid tribute to his colleague and friend at a May 27 retirement luncheon by referring to Transylvania’s longest-serving president as “a man of complete integrity” with an extraordinary commitment to the university.

“You never have any doubts about Charles acting in good faith,” said Dugi, who joined the Transylvania faculty in 1975. “He has always done his best for Transylvania—and he has done so out of commitment to the college rather than for personal accolades or self-aggrandizement.”

After having served Transylvania as vice president for finance beginning in 1979, Shearer became president in 1983 and will retire from the presidency on July 31. Throughout his tenure, he was known for paying strict attention to detail and for shepherding the university’s resources into today’s endowment of more than $100 million.

“Charles came to this college during one of its economic depressions,” Dugi said. “While that experience may not have been as dramatic as living through the Great Depression, I am sure that it shaped his approach to fiscal management. Clearly, President Shearer has been a very careful steward of the college during his tenure.”

Shearer’s active involvement in the university’s affairs could pay dividends in many areas, as Dugi pointed out in a story involving a needy, and worthy, student.

“Many years ago, one of our students was in danger of leaving the college because of financial hardship, and additional financial assistance was not being worked out,” Dugi recalled. “I went to Charles and told him that this student is someone we want to keep, that he would not only be a credit during his time at the college but would be a great representative of the college as an alumnus. Charles took care of it.”

In an overall sense, Dugi said that Shearer’s untiring dedication for 31 years in the university’s administration has advanced the college in every area.

“For both faculty and students, life at this college is incredibly better after his presidency than at any time in the long history of Transylvania,” he said. “The faculty is better for the things he has done, perhaps particularly the Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching and the various programs for faculty enhancement. There is no doubt that we are all better off for Charles Shearer having been at Transylvania.”

During the luncheon it was announced that 88 staff members had made a gift of $3,951 toward the Charles L. and Susan P. Shearer Scholarship, a prestigious program named after the Shearers to honor their remarkable legacy at Transylvania.

View photos of the retirement luncheon on Flickr.

Shearer Family

President Shearer and his wife, Susan, are joined by their three sons and families at a retirement luncheon in Shearer’s honor. To Susan’s immediate left are Todd, his wife, Chelsey, and their children, Anne and Will. Scott is in the middle, back. Mark is with his wife, Kristi, and their children, Taylor and Mason. (Not pictured: Scott’s wife, Sarah)

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