Andrew Pomerville Selected to Lead New Center for College and Community Engagement

Alma College alumnus has served as chaplain and director of spiritual life since 2018

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville ?01 The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville ’01ALMA — The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville ’01 — an Alma College alumnus who currently serves as the college’s chaplain and director of spiritual life — has been selected for a new role.

Pomerville will serve as the founding director of the college’s new Center for College and Community Engagement (CCCE), a program launched earlier this summer designed to create collaborative opportunities for the college and greater Alma area. In his new role, which reports to Alma College President Jeff Abernathy, Pomerville will focus on four key areas: engagement, community, sustainability, and purpose.

Throughout his career, “Andrew has focused on building communities, and we’re delighted to welcome him in this new role at Alma College,” Abernathy said. “The CCCE will teach students the value of purpose and place, by nurturing their senses of civic responsibility, meaningful service and vocation. I can think of no person better suited to lead those efforts than the Rev. Dr. Pomerville.”

Pomerville has served as chaplain and director of spiritual life at Alma — overseeing spiritual life activities, as well as partnering with departments as varied as athletics, admissions and advancement — since 2018. Among his accomplishments in the role, Pomerville co-led the successful $2-million Dunning Memorial Chapel renovation campaign, increased average attendance at weekly worship services and implemented the Plaid Serves program, which connects high school students with community engagement opportunities.

Prior to coming back to Alma, Pomerville served as the senior pastor of the Peoples Church of East Lansing, Michigan, pastor of Church in the Hills in Bellaire, Michigan and national park chaplain in Denali, Alaska. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alma College, Pomerville has earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

“I am exceptionally excited for this opportunity to connect my beloved alma mater, our community and alumni base together to promote meaningful engagement and service to benefit the whole mid-Michigan region. Together, we will help students, faculty and staff discern and understand the needs of the people who live here and continue to be the heartbeat for the entire state of Michigan,” Pomerville said. “I think the CCCE will be a hallmark program, something that sets Alma apart from all other colleges — one that demonstrates what it means for town and gown to be truly linked in matters of business, service and education. “

Initiatives and activities that will work through the center include new service and service learning opportunities, faculty and staff engagement and training, community partnerships and curricular programming to promote ethical reflection and engagement.

The CCCE will also play a pivotal role in organizing and expanding already-existing programs; including Plaid Service summer service, leadership and community organizing course; the Scots in Service living learning community; Alternative Breaks; and Alma Venture programming.

Through the center, the college will develop pipelines to internships, civic engagement, student leadership development, and volunteer opportunities for students. It will help facilitate faculty and staff development for experiential and service learning, as well as academic and co-curricular experiences that will enhance students’ community involvement, social capital, civic knowledge, and skill development for respectful and meaningful community engagement.

“As we work solidify Alma as a to a leading community in Michigan for the benefit of all of its citizens, we’re looking for leaders who can step up, accept those challenges and excel. Andrew Pomerville fits that description and more,” said Alma City Manager Matthew Schooley. “On behalf of the city of Alma, we congratulate Andrew on his new role and look forward to working with him and Alma College within the framework of its new CCCE.”

Added Greater Gratiot Development, Inc. President and Alma College Board of Trustees member James E. “Jim” Wheeler II: “I am very pleased with the appointment of Andrew Pomerville to be the director of the newly created Center for College and Community Engagement. I believe Andrew will bring great leadership and enthusiasm to this position. The center will greatly expand Alma College’s role in connecting the college with the Gratiot area. I look forward to working with Andrew as he designs and drives this program forward.”

While serving in his new role, Pomerville will continue to serve the campus community as senior chaplain. The college intends to hire a new, full-time campus chaplain to continue the work of spiritual life on campus.

Story published on August 31, 2021