Evangel University president hopes to bring students closer to God, prepare them for success

KOLR10 Daybreak

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Evangel University students have had a semester full of adjustments – a new school year, new classes and a new president.

KOLR10’s David Chasanov talked with Dr. Mike Rakes. Rakes says he wants to help students prepare for their future.

“The world is changing so dramatically,” Rakes said. “I’ve been in a number of conversations already with faculty and administration on the innovation piece for us. Making sure that our students have that skill coming out. Whatever discipline they choose that they’re going out into their fields ready to adjust and pivot for whatever is happening in the world at that time.”

Dr. Rakes is Evangel’s fifth president. At the moment he’s getting to know people on campus.

Before taking the position he was a lead pastor at a church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Rakes has already introduced a new program to Evangel – called ’60 Days of Prayer’. It started on August 25. He wants God to be with Evangel students wherever they go, and for God to reveal what is in Evangel’s future.

When the 60 days are over, he wants to work on an ‘excellence and beautification’ project.

“It’s a beautiful campus already and it looks amazing. I want to lean in just a little more,” Rakes said. “Sometimes that extra 10 percent can go a long way in business or in leadership, and so in October we are going to be doing that. If there are any alumni or friends of Evangel watching on, reach out and come help us.”

Rakes says he also wants Evangel to have better phone calls with future students to help make their transition easier.

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