Retired director of general studies
Margaretha Wessel, director of general studies, was the epitome of a student-centered individual. She was a trusted adviser and positive role model. She attained her Ph.D. at Montana State University in 1973 and soon became director of general studies (university studies), where she mentored and inspired hundreds of women. She was a trailblazer, mentor, leader and inspiration. An intense advocate of developmental advising, she established one of the first freshman seminars on campus to ensure that freshmen had caring faculty mentors. A champion for Native Americans, Wessel had a deep concern for students transitioning from living on a reservation to acclimating at the university. She often traveled to tribal community colleges to represent MSU and knew many of the Native students who enrolled at MSU by name. Her leadership of general studies evolved into establishing a core curriculum for MSU to strengthen academic rigor and improve articulation agreements with other institutions. Always professional and quick to laugh, Wessel was willing to challenge the status quo to support students. Her numerous awards attest to her extensive impact. Wessel’s mentees are now doctors, leaders in higher education and successful businesswomen.
Margaretha Wessel cared deeply about improving the lives of women and personally inspired them to push their limits and complete undergraduate and graduate degrees.