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2020 Men of the Year: Charlie Hungerford

Southwest Baptist University

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Whether it’s in his role as director of admissions for Southwest Baptist University’s Springfield campus, setting the pace for long-distance runners or helping others achieve wellness goals, Charlie Hungerford is in the lead.

Hungerford’s leadership skills most recently were tested as COVID-19 swept into the Ozarks. Within the first week of the shutdown, he and his team at SBU scrambled to transform a paper-based system to a digital application, review and selection process for nursing and radiography programs.

“These new processes I implemented within this transition created many positive outcomes,” he says, “but in particular, a more effective and efficient method of processing applications and decision notification.”

Hungerford also provides leadership at the state and national levels. He currently serves as immediate past president of the Missouri Association of College Admission Counseling and has served as a committee chair for the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.

Hungerford says being elected president of MOACAC is on his career highlights reel. During his tenure, Hungerford and the rest of the executive team increased scholarship opportunities for students and access to free professional development opportunities for high school counselors. A fund that was implemented will allow these programs to continue moving forward.

Even in his private life, Hungerford cheers others to success. The competitive long-distance runner often can be found setting the pace during a run and coaching others to victory while leading Weight Watchers meetings. He was asked to become a part-time coach after losing 60 pounds and maintaining his new weight through the program.

“These are truly life-changing experiences, and I never tire of seeing and celebrating this success,” Hungerford says.

“Knowing your purpose in life and how you can use that purpose to impact others is beneficial for finding contentment in your career.”

Hungerford’s volunteer efforts include serving as a board member for Girls on the Run of Southwest Missouri and a member of Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners.

Moving forward, Hungerford plans to continue on the course he’s charted and become more active in the community by helping to guide high school students toward higher education.

“Our local high school counselors are spending much of their days now in crisis management roles and simply don’t have the time or resources to provide much guidance to students in the college search process,” Hungerford says. “I would like to build greater relationships with these counselors and provide additional support and resources as a volunteer to help students make informed choices about their career and college paths.”

Professionally, Hungerford plans to continue his involvement with MOACAC and NACAC.

“I’ve been intrigued by leadership at the national level. One of my interests and goals is to hopefully serve on the national board of directors with NACAC,” he says.

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