Dr. Randy Rhine was inaugurated as the 11th president of Chadron State College during an afternoon ceremony on the CSC campus April 26. Temperatures around 70 made for an enjoyable day as the Nebraska State College System officially invested Dr. Randy Rhine as the 11th president of Chadron State College. The processional of faculty, administrators and special guests dressed in academic regalia created a fluttering rainbow from Crites Hall to Memorial Hall. Rhine walked into Memorial Hall to a fanfare provided by the CSC Brass Ensemble led by Sid Shuler.
Nebraska State College System Chancellor Stan Carpenter said that those in attendance were witnessing one of the system’s most important events. He noted that there will be internal and external challenges ahead for Rhine, but that the new president’s extensive experience in higher education in Arkansas, Montana and at CSC uniquely qualifies him for the post.
Officials from the Chadron State Foundation and Alumni boards greeted Dr. Randy Rhine during his inauguration as CSC’s 11th president April 26. Jeanine Mohr, alumni board president, congratulated him on behalf of the alumni in attendance as well as over 17,000 CSC alumni, “there in spirit.”
Mohr said she feels blessed to have a connection with an institution which values and encourages its alumni to remain engaged with its present and future goals. ”Celebrating your inauguration provides a unique moment for all of us to reflect on our experiences with CSC and the profound contribution Chadron State has made to our lives, this community, and to society at large. The alumni enthusiastically join with the entire campus community to express our pride in this college and our shared aspirations for its future.” Mohr told Rhine.
Even though the growing enrollment associated with Rhine’s arrival at CSC increases the need for scholarships, Chadron State Foundation Board President Fran Grimes said she and the foundation board gladly accept the challenge. “Bring it on!” she proclaimed.
Carpenter said, “I have no doubt Dr. Rhine will continue his creative efforts to recruit students and build Chadron’s enrollment, especially exploring ways to attract out-of-state and international students to rural Nebraska.” He added that the NSCS Board of Trustees is pleased with Rhine’s commitment and dedication to Chadron State, its students, faculty, staff, the community and the surrounding region.
Following the formal investiture performed by NSCS Board of Trustees Chair Cap Peterson, Rhine shared his comments with the audience, which included his wife, Ann, daughter, 1st Lt. Rachael Rhine-Millard, his sister, Sandy, and her husband, Johnny Williams, his mother-in-law, Wanda Egle, and other close friends and family members who had gathered for the festivities. In his characteristic way of focusing his attention on others rather than himself, Rhine took time to have the audience recognize his sister Sandy with a round of applause for recently received an award as the Outstanding Nurse of northwest Arkansas.
Rhine reflected on Chadron’s history, beginning with its launch in June of 1911 and then he looked forward to CSC’s second century. He emphasized his desire for CSC to explore and pursue visionary and innovative collaborations with public schools, community colleges, business and industry, and cities and towns in the Nebraska Panhandle and beyond.
Dr. Joyce Hardy, president of the faculty senate, complimented Rhine on his commitment to a common purpose of student success. Tenth president of CSC, Dr. Janie Park, addressed the audience, describing the 17 years she has known Rhine. Park said she knew when she first interviewed Rhine for a position at Montana State University-Billings that he would be a valuable asset to the organization. “I felt twice blessed when I was able to hire him again at CSC. Randy has an innate ability to lead,” said Park.
Student Senate President James Bahensky said he has been personally touched by Rhine’s leadership when Rhine served as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing and while interim president during the past year. Rhine has become a mentor, giving advice on student government and discussing current events said Morgan Nelson, former CSC student trustee. “Since I met him three years ago, I’ve had the utmost respect for him. He has always been a patient and admirable leader,” she said.
“May our victories outnumber our defeats,” said Kristol Cummings, president of the CSC support staff association, of the incoming Rhine administration. Chadron Mayor Karin Fischer added that Rhine’s vitality and vibrant manner are among the exceptional qualities he brings to the office.
At the reception following the ceremony, over 25 student projects were displayed in the hallway and classrooms of Old Admin. Tours were also provided to the forensic lab, mock courtroom and The Eagle newspaper production area on the upper floors of Old Admin.
In an evening event, Rhine's son, John, who is an Army Sgt. deployed overseas with the Rangers, used Skype to thank his father for teaching him about leadership plus many hunting and fishing trip memories. John said of his father, “Great leaders build good leaders.” Other speakers noted Rhine's qualities including listening to others and his ability to diffuse tense situations. Dr. Sandy Schaefer led CSC student musicians in providing an enjoyable evening of music in the CSC Student Center Ballroom.