LINCOLN, Neb. - Dr. Randy Rhine was inaugurated as the 11th president of Chadron State College during an afternoon ceremony on the CSC campus April 26. 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.
“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,” Carpenter said. 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, his mother-in-law, Wanda Egle, and other close friends and family members who had gathered for the festivities.
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.
Even though the growing enrollment associated since 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.
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. He described a recent lunch the two shared at which James got an empty fortune cookie. “At first I felt unlucky, but I do know that with an approachable, humble president CSC is very lucky indeed.”
Jeanine Mohr, president of the CSC Alumni Board, said that even though not present in person, thousands of alumni were present at the ceremony in spirit.
Rhine has become a mentor, said Morgan Nelson, CSC student trustee. “Since I met him three years ago, I’ve had the utmost respect for him. From giving me advice on student government, to discussing current events and the news, he has always been a patient and admirable leader.”
“May our victories outnumber our defeats,” said Kristal 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.
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