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Schaal appointed Graceland University vice president for student life

LAMONI — David D. Schaal has accepted appointment as the vice president for student life beginning June 1 at Graceland University.

Schaal graduated from Graceland with a Bachelor of Arts in social studies in 1980 and earned a master’s degree in religion with honors in 1985 from Park College with an emphasis in advanced leadership studies. He was a member of the Graceland Board of Trustees until 2013 when he became a part-time field officer for institutional advancement. He also served several years as one of two counselors to Community of Christ President Stephen M. Veazey.

“What excites me about the position is its capacity to work with others in shaping lives to make a difference in the world,” Schaal said..

He said he looks forward to “working with a team of professionals who share that commitment.” 

Schaal will continue in his role with institutional advancement through June 1; however, starting now, he will begin working closely with Vice President Marian Killpack and the Graceland University student life staff. In addition, he will attend training sessions this spring offered by the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. 

For more than 20 years, Schaal was an appointee with the Community of Christ, Graceland’s sponsoring church, with leadership roles in several areas that parallel his new responsibilities in student life.

Supervising leadership teams in more than 40 countries, Schaal developed leadership programs, chaired the human resources committee, facilitated planning for Graceland SPECtacular and served on the budget planning committee. In his various church appointments, he has also dealt with housing, food service and pastoral counseling, all areas under the supervision of the vice president for student life. On the Graceland board, Dave chaired the enrollment management committee. 

His outside interests also complement several student life areas. He has been a trainer for executives and staff of several Michigan health-care associations and served as a worldwide liaison to Outreach International.

President Sellars said there is an excellent fit between Schaal’s background and the student life position.

“We are fortunate to have someone with proven leadership skills and broad leadership experience,” Sellars said, “who is already very familiar with Graceland through his board service and deeply committed to Graceland’s core values.”

Sellars also said, “Dave will succeed Marian Killpack as dean of students but he will not replace her. No one — no one — will replace Marian.”

Killpack will read the list of graduates at commencement for the last time at the 2014 ceremonies and will retire after 43 years in student life.

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