Mikel Satcher joined the staff of Andover Newton for the second time when he became the Director of Student Life in 2014. Previously, many moons ago, Mikel taught Old Testament, and in his second run at Andover Newton he often ran into alums who had studied with him. When Nancy Nienhuis’ position was adjusted to include more long-term planning and operations, she needed help in sustaining Andover Newton’s commitment to creating a Beloved Community on campus. Nancy hired Mikel, and he more than delivered on that promise.
What I most appreciate and respect about Mikel is his incredibly positive attitude. From his first day on the job, Mikel was working on the most challenging issues student services professionals face. As the School’s disabilities officer, he led the iterative process through which students were granted accommodations so they could pursue their studies; I know from experience that these negotiations are both technical and personal, and everyone wants them to result in students’ flourishing. He facilitated difficult conversations on topics others might consider third rails: diversity, theological differences, campus community crises. He never pretended those topics were easy, but he always caused those who participated to feel like it was better we were talking about them together.
I will miss working with Mikel, in that I trust him, and I enjoy collaborating with him. A huge heart, a winning personality, and the best laugh in the world: I am grateful for Mikel and am confident that the place that receives his gifts next will benefit just as has Andover Newton twice.
by: Sarah B. Drummond