Missouri Western State University this summer is welcoming its fifth president in its 50-year history as a four-year institution. Matthew Wilson, J.D., succeeded Dr. Robert Vartabedian, who retired June 30 after 11 years as Missouri Western’s president.

“I am pleased to welcome the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans to the tenth summer training camp at Missouri Western State University,” President Wilson said. “One my priorities is furthering community partnerships that can benefit our students, the community, and region as a whole. Our partnership with the Chiefs is a prime example of a mutually-beneficial, town-to-gown relationship.”

President Wilson served as president of the University of Akron from 2016 to 2018, where he helped lead a remarkable two-year budgetary turnaround while implementing innovative approaches to student recruitment, retention and internationalization. Previously, he served as dean of the University of Akron School of Law, associate dean of the University of Wyoming College of Law and senior associate dean and general counsel of Temple University Japan, teaching a wide variety of law classes at all three schools. He’s excited to be joining the student-centered, applied learning community at Missouri Western.

“Missouri Western is a special place that can inspire, create, innovate, develop skills, further talents and generate sustainable economic development and high paying jobs for St. Joseph, the State of Missouri and the surrounding communities,” Wilson said.

Wilson and his wife, Noriko, have four children and four grandchildren.