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Ep. 56: A Conversation with Dr. Robert Myers, President of Toccoa Falls College

Warren Cole Smith

Today, I’m pleased to share with you my conversation with the president of Toccoa Falls College, Dr. Robert Myers.

Colleges are the recipients of hundreds of millions of donor dollars every year.  They are also on the front lines of many of today’s most important cultural battles.  They are powerful tools for shaping culture – both for good or for ill – and they are often defining moments in the lives of individual students, who are trying to decide who they are and what they want to be when they leave college.

In a time of demographic change, when we are seeing fewer kids in the college-aged age group, and technological advances – an era when it is much easier to take advantage of distance education, we are seeing a lot of colleges suffer.  There are about 4000 colleges in this country, and I have heard statistics that suggest that as many as a third of them could close over the next decade.

Of course, some colleges are thriving, and a few colleges have had the experience of staring into the abyss of financial ruin and then stepping back from that precipice.  Toccoa Falls College in northeast Georgia is one of those schools.  It has come back from the brink of ruin twice, in fact.  Once, in 1977, when a dam break and subsequent flood swept through the college – exactly 43 years ago last week.  39 people were killed and more than 60 injured in that disaster.

The second time Toccoa Falls College averted disaster was in the years following the 2008-2009 financial crisis.  And the man who gets a great deal of the credit for that turnaround is my guest today.

Robert Myers has a varied career.  He started it as a police officer – first as an officer on patrol and rising through the ranks to detective.  He transitioned to higher education nearly 30 years ago and has served at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University.  He now serves as only the 7th president in the school’s more than 100-year history.

I had this conversation with Bob Myers before the COVID pandemic, but for a variety of reasons we have held on to this conversation till now.  I did this interview at his office on the campus of Toccoa Falls College.

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.

The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy.  Here at MinistryWatch, we get database, technical, and editorial support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen DuBarry, Christina Darnell, and Casey Sudduth.

Until next time, may God bless you.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine and has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 20 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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