“People find it surprising that I’m a college president,” said Roger Drake, president of Central Methodist University. “I admit I just don’t look like a college president.” In his Kentucky drawl he went on to rightfully brag about the Central Methodist Chorale, who sang at the General Conference and ask the conference to visit the university website to view a video of that performance. He also reminded everyone that the CMU Praise Band would be performing at Sunday morning worship at Annual Conference.
“We do everything we know to do to get our students to chapel,” he said. “They can’t be blessed just being in the band. My desire is for CMU to become more United Methodist.” This includes increasing the opportunity to attend through scholarship placement. This fall CMU will have 72 students leveraging scholarships and more students than ever identifying as United Methodist. There are more enrolled in religious studies. This fall CMU will offer a Bachelor of Religious Music that will include music business elements. Camp Intrepid is coming up and scholarship money is available to get youth there. CMU students have participated in numerous mission trips.
“Despite the fact that I don’t look like a college president,” Drake said, “things are going amazingly well. I’m sensing this audience is saying ‘Yes, great but what can we do.’ Ask your youth to visit CMU campus, invite the band to visit your church or Rev. Mollie Moore, our chaplain to visit. Come and see how God is moving on our campus.”
Drake offered his personal thanks to the Bishop as he has learned his way around leading CMU, and for the Bishop offering his unwavering support to CMU.
In a surprise move, Drake asked the Bishop to join him at the podium. “Today, in thanks I am awarding, with all rights and privileges, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to you, Bishop Schnase.” This is the first honorary degree nominated by Drake since he has been at CMU.