INTRODUCING ... New Marymount University President Dr. Matthew Shank
INTRODUCING ... New Marymount University President Dr. Matthew Shank

The sixth president in the history of Marymount University, Dr. Matthew D. Shank began his tenure on July 1, 2011.  Most recently serving as the dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Dayton, he has also held academic positions at Northern Kentucky University, the University of Mississippi and Southern Illinois University. A former collegiate student-athlete himself at the University of Wyoming, Dr. Shank understands the rigors of balancing athletics and academics.   INTRODUCING … Dr. Matthew Shank.

Briefly, what is your background in the sport you play?  I was a starting pitcher for the University of Wyoming baseball team, which was in the Western Athletic Conference at the time. I grew up playing baseball, soccer, and basketball, but focused mostly on baseball and soccer.

What is your favorite spot on campus?  My favorite spot on Marymount’s campus is a little stone grotto with a statue of the Blessed Mother and flowers in the shape of an “M”. Created in memory of an alumnus, it reflects Marymount’s Catholic heritage and founding by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

Outside of your home and campus, where is your favorite place visit?   I’m so new to the Washington, DC, area that I’m still looking forward to discovering it! So far, my favorite spots off campus are the beautiful golf courses. We have one right next to campus!

Other than your team, what organization (s) do you participate in (on campus or off campus)?  Since I’m new to Marymount University and the region, I’m still in the process of getting involved with community and academic organizations in the area. However, on the collegiate front, I am a member of the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), the American Council on Education (ACE), Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area (CUMWA), Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC), and the list goes on! 

In addition, I look forward to being active with local chambers of commerce, community organizations, boards of trade, and business groups like the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Economic Club of Washington, DC, and Arlington Committee of 100.

Briefly describe the most memorable experience during your collegiate athletic career.  Pitching a one-hitter against the Air Force Academy!

What is the most important societal issue facing college students?  College students are striving to define themselves and find their place in the world. I would emphasize how important it is for them to play an active role in their community, the nation, and the world. We need our young people to get involved, and colleges can provide opportunities to get them started.

If you could change any one item in the world (in your personal life, school, community, amateur or professional sports, national/international issue, etc.), what would it be, why, and how would you do it?   I would get rid of the designated hitter! (No explanation needed!)

What is your major in college, and what is the most important thing you learned in that discipline?   My degrees are in Psychology, and this discipline has provided me with a better understanding of human behavior.

Other than your family members, who was the most influential person in your life?  My Little League coach really influenced me. He taught me about hard work, perseverance, and commitment.

What is your favorite form of entertainment?  Sports of all kinds because they are unscripted, unrehearsed, and the outcome is unpredictable!

What is your favorite source of information (TV, book, magazine, website, friends in dining hall, etc.)?   The Wall Street Journal. It provides unbiased financial news and also covers national and international news.

If you could give one piece of advice to elementary school children, what would that advice be?  My advice would be to work hard and have a dream for the future.

Outside of the Capital Athletic Conference, who or what is your favorite sports person or team (and why)?  Albert Pujols. Not only is he arguably the best baseball player, he’s on my home team, the St. Louis Cardinals, and is committed to his community and his faith.

Name three (3) people, real or fictional, living or dead, that you'd like to have dinner with?  Al Czervik, Judge Smails and Carl Spackler from the movie Caddyshack. What fun that would be!