NSU reacts to president’s unexpected retirement

Staff report 

Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio announced on Friday, April 16 that he is set to retire on June 30 of this year. Maggio’s announcement has come as a shock to students and brings feelings of sadness to others. 

“I was really sad when I found out about Mr. Maggio leaving. Anytime I needed help he was the first person to respond,” Elizabeth Atnip, a sophomore psychology major, said. “He was quick to respond to emails and he was a very service-led president.” 

In a press release, Maggio said his decision was made during prayerful deliberation with his family and was based entirely on considerations of his family’s future and aspirations.   

“There has been no pressure or even the slightest nudge from anyone for me to step down from the presidency,” Maggio said. “As gratifying as it has been to work over the years in athletics, recruitment and enrollment management, alumni and development, student affairs and as a vice-president and president, those responsibilities have necessitated extensive time away from my family,”. 

Freshman communications major Michah Ballard said that Maggio was a great person.  

“I haven’t been here for very long, but I’ve interacted with him a couple of times,” Ballard said. “I was very disappointed when I found out he was leaving. I don’t think it’s going to be the same.” 

Maggio has been a part of the NSU community for 33 years and has served as president since 2017.  

“My love for Northwestern has grown continually since enrolling as a freshman at the school four decades ago,’ Maggio said. “The opportunity to serve students, work collegially with faculty and staff and interact with alumni and supporters of the university has been enjoyable and rewarding.” 

“The theater and dance department is sad to see Dr. Maggio retire but wish him well in all of his future endeavors,” Brett Garfinkel, department head of theater and dance and associate professor of dance, said. “He was a major supporter of the Arts and would come and see productions when his schedule allowed. If Chris was not available Mrs. Jennifer Maggio and other family members would come support as well. We will miss his leadership and support.”  

Vanner Erikson, director of recruiting, said that Maggio’s retirement is truly a big loss to the NSU community.  

“He’s passionate about moving the needle forward at NSU in every capacity, but most importantly, he’s personable to every single student, alumnus, and stakeholder along the way,” Erikson said. “He has never met a stranger and remembers every detail about everyone he has met.” 

Rebecca Macijeski, creative writing program coordinator and assistant professor of English, said she has known Dr. Maggio as an important supporter of humanities and the arts here at Northwestern and in the larger community.  

“His presence and genuine enthusiasm mean a great deal to the students here,” Macijeski said. “He and Jennifer gave inspiring remarks about the value of reading and writing, and the power of communicating in a meaningful way.” 

Kierston Jackson, a senior health and human performance major, said that she is grateful to have met the Maggio’s. 

“They are so welcoming and involved. It would always be a pleasure to run into them at various NSULA events,” Jackson said. “President Maggio did a great job keeping the campus afloat during the pandemic. I wish him great success and happiness.” 

“It’s truly a gift, and I consider myself lucky to have had him as a mentor for these past 10 years.  I truly wish him the best in his retirement,” Erikson said. 

“Dr. Maggio has an extraordinary capacity to connect with community members at any age, and I know those kids will remember those visits for years to come,” Macijeski said. “I’ve been grateful to count Dr. Maggio as an ally in my efforts to grow creative writing initiatives at NSU. He will be missed, and his efforts will continue to be appreciated.” 

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