Washburn University selects Alumni Association president as interim president

Washburn University will allow Alumni Association and Foundation president Marshall Meek to take the helm as it searches for a new president.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 1:33 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University will allow Alumni Association and Foundation president Marshall Meek to take the helm as it searches for a new president.

The Washburn University Board of Regents announced on Tuesday, Aug. 16, that it has chosen Marshall Meek as the university’s interim president until it hires a permanent replacement for retiring President Jerry Farley. Meek has served as president of the Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation since 2017.

“I am honored to serve in this capacity during a time of transition for the university,” Meek said. “As an alumnus, I know Washburn is a very special place, and I look forward to giving the university my best until a new president is selected.”

Washburn University said meek will take the helm when Farley officially retires on Sept. 30. He will remain with the university as president emeritus after his retirement and will concentrate on fundraising and international student recruitment.

“The Regents have had a great working relationship with Marshall for the past five years, and he has our complete confidence that he will help maintain a strong educational culture for our students during this time of transition,” said Shelly Buhler, chair of the Washburn University Board of Regents.

Meek noted that he will not be a candidate for the permanent position and is confident the university will continue to run smoothly as the board finds Farley’s replacement.

“Washburn boasts strong leadership, faculty and staff teams with many years of experience,” he said. “I know those teams will continue to function at a high level throughout the interim period with the focus on continuing to make Washburn a place where our students learn and are provided exceptional opportunities.”

WU indicated that Meek joined Washburn in 2015 as the executive director of major and planned giving for the Alumni Association and Foundation. He was named president in 2017 and during that time, he has also served as a member of its executive staff and worked with the president of the Board of Regents to identify fundraising needs.

While he serves as interim president, Washburn said Meek will continue to hold the title of president of the Alumni Association and Foundation but will turn day-to-day operations over to Gina Stewart, executive director of administration at the organization.

Before he came to the university, Washburn said Meek was the executive director of the St. Francis Health Foundation and was a senior development officer at the Frist Hand Foundation at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City. He also served on various boards including the United Way of Greater Topeka.

WU noted that Meek graduated from Kansas State University and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Washburn. He lives in Topeka with his wife, Amy, and their five children. Together, they have served as licensed foster parents and a support family for YouThrive - a program to help foster children who have aged out of care.

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