Wilson, president at perfect time

By Megan Hanft, [email protected]

Professor Matthew Wilson transformed into President Matthew Wilson within a matter of months. He has created a whole new aura for The University of Akron that makes people feel comfortable on their campus, and he regularly engages with students and always appears at as many events as possible.

Wilson has broken down a wall that was formed between students and [the previous administration]. He makes every effort to be supportive and attentive to students’ needs, and they can tell that he truly cares about the University and all past, present, and future Zips.

Being a UA ambassador has its perks, one of which is getting the opportunity to listen to [Wilson’s ideas]. I loved [the one] of driving an ice cream truck around campus and giving out free ice cream while playing the University’s “fight song.” (However, his co-leaders did not have the same excitement about the idea, so do not get too excited fellow Zips.)  I developed a large amount of respect for Wilson through his genuineness and leadership.

On “Fall Visit Day,” where prospective students toured UA, he was mingling among the visiting families. The majority of people did not know he was the [interim] president of the University until after their conversation due to his approachableness. Wilson is making his best effort to connect with all students.

The new president is the opposite from boastful, and most of his work is behind the scenes. Students get the opportunity to interact with the president daily when he plays basketball at the rec. Zips began to recognize the outgoing president after he played basketball with students outside the Union and gave away gift cards to students who could beat him. His office is not just a room, but the whole campus itself.

Personally, I have yet to hear a negative remark about the new president. My friends frequently tell stories about their own interactions with Wilson. It could be as simple as a “tweet” back from him on Twitter, but most of the time the stories are about how awesome they think the president is and that he attended their event.

Wilson is a down-to-earth person that came to be president at the perfect time UA needed him. Not many people have the confidence to take on such a leadership role as his and at such a vital time. Wilson has already made great strides for UA in his short time as interim president and has proven that he will do greater things in his new, permanent presidency.