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Over the last few weeks I have been delighted to get to know an individual who will become an integral part of the senior leadership team at Andrews University. His resume spoke to some of his life priorities and his accomplishments, and that was encouraging. But it is Michael Nixon as a person, his story, that I will share with the campus community today as I want you to meet the person I have met over the last few weeks: Caring, passionate, faithful, hopeful, determined and thoughtful. You will have much more of an opportunity to meet Michael as he takes up his position as Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion on August 1; however, in the meantime, here is a window into the story of our newest vice president. In 2009, Michael graduated from Andrews University. Up to that point, his life had been comparatively sheltered within the Seventh-day Adventist community, though he had enjoyed some diverse experiences during his college years, studying at Antillean University (Puerto Rico), Oakwood University (Alabama) and then Andrews. However, upon his graduation he decided to broaden his horizons and step out of his comfort zone. This journey took him as an AmeriCorps worker to a Catholic university, through law school, involved him with work for immigrant populations and ended with his role as a civil rights attorney in New York, specifically in the arena of fair housing. Those are the facts, but behind those facts is the story of an individual who has had to face challenging decisions on his faith commitment and his choice of priorities. In making his choices, Michael’s passion for his faith has deepened, and so has his understanding and commitment to equity and inclusion. In the last few years he has shown unequivocally that when it comes to faith and career, faith must come first. And when he has chosen where to walk it has been to walk alongside the disadvantaged, rather than where he might find visible personal success. Please do take the opportunity to get to know Michael better through his own words, as he shares his story through the lens of a critical moment in his life. Read his story in Stories of Andrews. Thank you, Michael, for taking the step to join us at Andrews University and share with us your skills, talents and passion for faith and diversity. You represent the spirit of Andrews and we welcome you to our—and your—campus!

Andrea Luxton

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Michael Nixon