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UCM honors Ambrose, welcomes Best

Chuck Ambrose speaks Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center during a ceremony celebrating his eight-year tenure as UCM president. (Photo by Erica Oliver/Assistant Photo Editor)

The campus community recognized and thanked former UCM President Chuck Ambrose for his eight years of service during an appreciation celebration Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Ambrose was joined by his wife, Kris, at the event, which included remarks by interim President Roger Best and Board of Governors President John Collier.

Through tears, Ambrose thanked Kris, his family and UCM for all they have done for him over the years.

“I have a heart full of gratitude,” Ambrose said. “UCM has the absolute best students.”

Dylan Green, who came here in 2015 as a graduate student and now works as a career advisor in the Career Services Center, struggled to think of a specific favorite memory he had of Ambrose.

Photo by Erica Oliver

Chuck and Kris Ambrose at Thursday’s celebration of his service at UCM.

“There’s so many that I don’t think it’s best to put a specific favorite memory out there,” Green said. “Everything that he’s done from the student perspective and the colleague perspective, I really think it’s all been just dynamite and we’ll miss him.

Jean Nuernberger, chair of the School of Human Services, reflected on a personal memory.

“My husband died during the last academic year and President Ambrose made a personal call to me when I was with my kids the day after,” Nuernberger said. “That’s a personal memory, but I have lots of memories of him working to advance his agenda of student success and having the opportunity to serve with him on those.”

Sandra Moore, a controller at UCM, said she loved seeing Ambrose get involved with students on campus.

“He’s always out there being very involved with the campus activities with the kids. When I was in school here, I never saw the president of the university. He was a big guy in a suit who you didn’t go up and talk to all of the time,” Moore said.

Nuernberger said Ambrose made a large impact on the UCM community.

“I think partly because of his candor, energy, and his willingness to speak out and to speak out on difficult issues,” Nuernberger said.

Green said he is excited to see what Best will do for UCM.

“He has big shoes to fill but he’s also more than capable of filling them, I think,” Green said. “He’s made it very clear that he’s willing to reach out to offices on campus and get to know people, he’s extending that personal hand to say, ‘Hey, I will meet you and I want to get involved.’ We in the Career Services Center aren’t hoping for a visit, we’re counting on it.”

Best said he is excited for the opportunity to connect with students more.

“I’m mostly excited to be able to engage more closely with students. In the role that I was most recently in as chief operating officer… even though I had an opportunity to engage with students, there wasn’t nearly as much as there is now,” Best said. “I’m also very excited about being engaged with our faculty and staff.”

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