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Dr. Joseph Lechner to Retire after 39 Years of Service

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — A special chapel service was held Wednesday, April 25 at Mount Vernon Nazarene University honoring Dr. Joseph Lechner, Professor of Chemistry, and Department Chair of Chemistry and Physical Science. MVNU is grateful for his 39 years of service and he will be greatly missed.

Lechner shared about his journey to MVNU and how God has always directed his paths, even in times of uncertainty. He ensured students that, as they exit this academic year, “God cares about every aspect of your professional life just as he does about your spiritual life,” as he quoted Proverbs 3:5. “He wants to direct your paths and he has promised to do just that if you’ll let him.”

“I want to share with you how God prepared me to become a faculty member here and how he eventually guided me to this place,” Lechner said. “I cannot guarantee that God is going to speak to you exactly in the same way he spoke to me, he’s far too creative to do that. Each of you is unique — God knows just how to best communicate with you so that you will hear and understand his voice,” said Lechner.

Lechner graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and went on to receive a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the State University of Iowa in 1977, where he was a teaching assistant from 1973 to 1976. Lechner also served as a research associate at Northwestern University Dental School from January 1978 to August 1979, and from June to August in 1980. Lechner arrived at Mount Vernon Nazarene College in 1979. He is also an honorary alumnus of MVNU.

Rev. Joe Noonen, MVNU's Vice President for Student Life and University Chaplain, closed Wednesday’s chapel service with words of appreciation.

“When I was a student, I remember hearing the urban legends about your intellectual prowess in acing tests and your reputation preceded you. Your intellectual rigor integrated with faith poured forth into the lives of students,” said Noonen.

“Hundreds and hundreds of us could parade across this platform and say ‘thank you’ for the way in which you allowed God to prepare you, shape you, pour into you, so that you might invest significantly in the history of this university and in the lives of those given to you to instruct,” said Noonen.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 32 states and 19 countries/U.S. territories.