ADRIAN, Mich—For Patrick Farver, being tapped on the shoulder to take the reins as the new Chairman for the Board of Trustees at Adrian College came a little earlier than expected. When then Chairman of the Board Kathryn Mohr called, Farver was on vacation.
“I had always looked to her as a mentor. She said from the beginning that she would help pave the way for me to take the role. That day seems to have come.”
Mohr, who has been a member of the Adrian College Board of Trustees since 1996, held the Chair position from 2007 through 2013. She was recognized with an honorary degree at Commencement earlier this spring. Although Mohr has stepped back from her role at the helm, she will continue her service to the Board and the momentum exhibited by the College.
President Jeffrey R. Docking believes that the transition will be a smooth one.
“Pat Farver is an outstanding leader, a successful businessman, a great citizen, and a person fully capable of leading the Adrian College Board of Trustees during these days of exciting change,” Docking stated.
“I am honored that Pat accepted this position and look forward to working closely with him as Adrian College continues to become an even better institution of higher learning.”
Farver is the third generation of his family to serve as President and CEO of Blissfield Manufacturing Company in Blissfield, Michigan.He resides in Adrian, Michigan with his wife. He has two grown sons who also work alongside him at the family-owned business. Farver serves on several committees and has been on the Adrian College Board of trustees since 2007. An avid scuba diver, Farver graduated from the University of Miami before returning home to Michigan and working his way through the ranks at Blissfield Manufacturing. Farver has held several committee positions on the board and served on the executive committee.
With an interest in economic development, taking part in the innovative changes at the College seemed the “right thing to do” for Farver.
“It’s rewarding to maintain this connection to the community. I continue to be able to watch and engage in a collaborative working relationship with a remarkable institution. There continues to be so much happening at Adrian College,” stated Farver.
“The vision and passion demonstrated by Dr. Docking and his administration, staff and faculty make it an exciting time to be involved. To survive and thrive in this environment, you have to be willing to do what it takes. [President Docking] does just that.”
Farver goes on to note the influence that the board can bring to the College. Outlining the dramatic changes to the staff and faculty and the immensely talented individuals that are brought to work on the campus, Farver notes that the commitment of the employees of the College is truly what makes the impact on a daily basis.
“For the Board of Trustees, our role is advisory. We bring experience and ideas. Our function is to offer insight and opportunity to excel and make things happen at AC.”
He recognizes the great achievements of the College and its administration in recent years. Amidst the struggle of small, liberal arts institutions – Adrian College has not only survived, but also thrived. Adding 4+1 Master’s programs, international appeal and unique degrees and programs have made the AC experience stand out to incoming students.
“It’s well noted that the only thing consistent is change. In business and in education we do what we have to do to survive – only we do it better. We listen carefully to students, to faculty and to staff to figure out what we can be doing, and excelling in.”
For Farver, the College has to continue to blaze its own trail and seek unique ways to stand out. “Sometimes that means ideas may or may not work out. The College has emblazoned on bold risks in recent years and fostered a culture of creativity. Each experience has built a result: the end goal being success.”
He would like to see a continued commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit that is abundant on campus. He believes in leveraging the experience of the board to make the trustees more visible and approachable to the campus community and notes that the advisory board is diverse, successful and excited to be a part of the lifelong learning that happens at AC. By becoming more engaged, the Board can offer support on different perspectives, Farver notes.
Though the success of the College is well heralded in recent years, the College can’t just sit back and reap the benefits of its recent success warns Farver. He believes the Renaissance vision and its measurable business plan for growth are part of the need to stay up on trends and improvements. For him, continued success is looking outside the box to be more than just a regional player.
This is where the alumni become the army, he quips. He references Adrian College alumnus as ‘the boots on the ground’ that can expand the reach and leverage experience to bring new Bulldogs to campus. For Farver, this is the beginning of the next chapter of his leadership for the College.
“We can see that what we are doing is working, but there is much left to do.”