By Blue Mountain College
BLUE MOUNTAIN – Between stepping around the cardboard boxes in her new home and sniffing the overflowing vases of flowers in her new office, Barbara Childers McMillin’s first day as president of Blue Mountain College was “amazing.”
McMillin officially took over as the college’s president on Wednesday.
“The whole day, so far, has been amazing,” McMillin said Wednesday while taking a mid-morning break. “It’s been a wonderfully moving experience. I know the florist has been busy.
“It has been delightful and I am truly grateful for the warmth, the encouragement and the prayers that have come our way.”
McMillin, the eighth president of BMC, said she knew it was going to be a good beginning when early-on she was able to meet with a couple of prospective students.
“That was exciting,” she said. “I haven’t had a chance to meet with many student groups during the transition and that’s what I’m most looking forward to.”
One of McMillin’s first meetings was with Sharon Enzor, vice president for academic affairs, and David Shankle, chairman of the business department.
“We are looking at what it means to integrate our faith with our learning opportunities in the classrooms, and that is something I am extremely interested in,” she said. “I want us to talk more about thinking Christianly.”
McMillin said her primary focus was on getting to know the BMC community.
“I want to sit down with each person on our faculty and staff,” she said. “I want to get to know them and I want them to know me. That is essential before we begin any ‘vision-casting.’ We have to get to know one another, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
McMillin, 52, is no stranger to the area. She grew up 15 miles north of Blue Mountain in Falkner, and came to BMC after 20 years at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where most recently she was associate provost and dean of instruction.
She is an alumna of Northeast Mississippi Community College, Union University and the University of Mississippi.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Union, McMillin earned both her M.A. and D.A. in English at Ole Miss.
As a graduate student, she was a teaching assistant at Ole Miss and an English instructor at BMC in the summers of 1985 and 1987.
McMillin was a member of the NEMCC English faculty for five years before joining the Union faculty in the fall of 1992. She was named Union’s Faculty of the Year in 1999. She succeeds Bettye Rogers Coward, who recently retired after 11 years as BMC’s president.