Commencement Countdown | Q&A with Chris Muncy

Steve Jones

Chris Muncy didn’t want to just attend college. He wanted to attend college and be an involved student. Like really, really involved.

When Muncy walks across the stage at the Spalding commencement ceremony on Saturday, he’ll be putting a wrap on a college career in which he became a model of student leadership and involvement.

Muncy, who is graduating with a bachelor’s in health science (BSHS), was president of the Student Government Association from 2016-18 after previously serving as an SGA vice president and Campus Activities Board president. The former nursing major also served as president of the Kentucky Association of Nursing Students – the first Spalding student to hold that position in several years – and he was on a state board of university student body presidents that helped organize a rally in Frankfort for higher education.

In addition to all that, the Nelson County High School product managed to play four years of soccer for the NCAA Division III Golden Eagles, including in 2016, when Spalding captured the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title.

“When I got to college – and I don’ t know where it came from – I was just like, ‘I need to do something more,'” Muncy said. “I wanted to prepare myself for the future. I wanted to do as many things as possible to grow as a person.”

Muncy said that of all the organizations he’s been involved with, he’s probably committed the most time and energy into SGA.

While he was president, he said he’s proud of how SGA has increased awareness for Spalding’s recognized student organizations (RSOs), encouraging them to have more and better events on campus.

He also has worked to strengthen the SGA Senate and House of Representatives and helped SGA land a permanent home with an office in the Egan Leadership Center. Muncy also made sure SGA began to take advantage of opportunities to have an attendee at meetings of the university’s trustees and faculty senate.

Muncy and his SGA colleagues also made a successful push to get the hours of operation extended at the fitness center in the Columbia Gym, and he helped convince Spalding to invest in getting its first mascot, Ollie the Golden Eagle.

During his three years on the Campus Activities Board, the number of CAB-sponsored campus events grew from three all year to one per week.

“I really tried to do everything I could to improve campus life,” he said. “There is always going to be work to be done, especially with it being a smaller campus. But I feel like I’ve definitely left campus life in a better state than when I got here.”

Muncy said his Spalding experiences inside and outside of the classroom helped him land a high-quality job right out of college. He started this month as a sales representative for an orthopedic device company.

His background in health science and nursing and experience in health care settings bolstered his resume, he said, and his familiarity with public speaking, leading meetings and working with seasoned professionals and business leaders, such as those on Spalding’s board of trustees, helped him during a long interview process.

Muncy said that the networking, communication and organizational skills he has learned at Spalding will help him succeed in building relationships with doctors and other clients.

During that job interview process, “it seemed like for every other question I answered, I was going back to my leadership experience,” Muncy said. “I said, ‘If I can do this type of stuff while I’m in school, I can do this for you.'”

Muncy’s ties and memories to Spalding will only grow in the coming months. He and his future wife are having their wedding ceremony at Trager Park in September.

More from Chris after the video:

How do you look back on all that you did at Spalding?

“I definitely got to network with a lot of people and a lot of mentors who helped me grow as a person and a leader. That’s something I wouldn’t have been able to get if I’d gone to a big state school. I wouldn’t have been able to do the multiple things I was able to do. I really credit being at a smaller institution for giving me opportunities to do whatever I want.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t come to Spalding and get involved with leadership, play soccer and do all the things I was able to do.

“Academics and education, leadership experience and directly impacting campus life, and being a student-athlete. Spalding is one of the only places where I think you can be involved in all three of those and get the full experience of college.

Would you encourage other students to get involved in organizations on campus?

“Absolutely. It doesn’t have to be CAB, doesn’t have to be SGA, but find something that you’re passionate about and you can work toward and improve. It doesn’t have to be an organization that’s already here. You can start your own organization.”

Who is someone memorable you’ve gotten to meet as a result of your roles in student leadership?

“The person I’m most proud to have met and talked to is definitely President (Tori Murden) McClure. I’ve always been interested in outdoors and backpacking and camping, and to be able to have her as a leader and a mentor with all the stuff I’ve done on campus – and also to look up to her as an outdoorswoman – that’s been the greatest experience for me. We had her come on our SGA backpacking trip, a retreat, and she hiked with us, and she let me lead it. She’s this person who has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and skied to the geographic South Pole, and she wants me to lead this backpacking trip through the woods? That’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. That’s been one of the best experiences is to be with SGA and be able to look up to her as a mentor. I feel that’s something that’s come up in all the interviews I did, ‘Who’s someone you look up to?’ I feel like that’s my No. 1 mentor for sure.”