Mathews era comes to an end at SMC

Mathews is shown by a photo display at the college showing "2020 and beyond."

DOWAGIAC — When David Mathews attended the groundbreaking for the first Southwestern Michigan College building back in 1965 when he was just 5 years old, he didn’t think he’d one day be the college’s seventh and longest serving president. Growing up, he wanted to join the Army and become a Green Beret.

Mathews is retiring at the end of this month after 18 and a half years as the college president. He’s been at SMC for over 20 years, coming back in 1997 to first be the dean of Arts and Sciences and Instructional Innovation, and then vice president of instruction before being appointed president in 2001.

Mathews era comes to an end at SMC

This 1965 photo at the groundbreaking for Southwestern Michigan College shows Dr. Fred Mathews (with shovel) and his son David Mathews, far left, who would go on to take over the reins of the college in 2001.

Mathews era comes to an end at SMC

David Mathews stands in front of a large photo that displays the plaza in the center of the Dowagiac campus.