Rochester College Welcomes President with Ice Cream

New Rochester College President Dr. John Tyson

New Rochester College President Dr. John Tyson

Changes at Rochester College

Rochester College welcomed its new president on Sunday with an event called Ice Cream Olympics. Dr. John Tyson replaces Dr. Rubel Shelly. Dr. Shelly served as president from 2008 to 2013 and now has assumed responsibilities as chancellor of the college.

Dr. Tyson officially started his duties as president on August 1st. However, former students welcomed him at the Sunday event with a private reception for alumni with an informal meet and greet in the café on campus.

New President comes from Texas

Dr. John Tyson, his wife Valinda, and their daughter moved from Texas so John could take the position of president with Rochester College. Dr. Tyson was the president and CEO of Abilene Christian Schools in Abilene, TX. The Rochester College Board of Trustees selected its ninth president from a nationwide search.

Ice Cream Olympics at Rochester College - photo by Michael Dwyer

Ice Cream Olympics at Rochester College – photo by Michael Dwyer

“With years of quality experience in higher education development and administration, Dr. Tyson is a visionary leader. He will continue to help Rochester College achieve its mission of preparing strong contributing citizens by providing an excellent liberal arts education in a Christian environment,” said William Anderson, chair of the RC Board of Trustees. “Dr. Tyson has an exemplary record in development, which is crucial to the future of our college. We look forward to the leadership and energy he will bring to our campus.”

Ice Cream Olympics

After the private reception, students and staff of Rochester College joined Dr. Tyson and alumni outside on the Campus Mall for ice cream. With music playing and ambient lights strung up, the ice cream sampling began. Seven area companies were invited to participate: Calder’s Dairy, Cook’s Farm Dairy, Guernsey, Hudsonville, Kilwin’s, Ray’s, and Treat Dreams.

Everyone received one token to cast his or her vote. After trying all seven products, guests voted by dropping the token into buckets at the booth of their choice. After the count, the top three places were announced.

Kilwin's Scoops up First Place at Rochester College - photo by Michael Dwyer

Kilwin’s Scoops up First Place at Rochester College – photo by Michael Dwyer

The Winners!

Kilwin’s won the gold, Cook’s Farm Dairy the silver, and Hudsonville the bronze. Kilwin’s has several locations in Michigan and has a cool win with a flavor called Salted Caramel. Cook’s Farm Dairy in Ortonville took second with Tractor Trails (Vanilla ice cream, fudge swirls, fudge chips & peanut butter truffles). Scooping up third place was Hudsonville, based in Holland, MI, with their Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge (sweet chunks of cherries and thick fudge ripple in creamy cherry ice cream).

Sonya Julie of Oxford tries Calder's Ice Cream at Rochester College - photo by Michael Dwyer

Sonya Julie of Oxford tries Calder’s Ice Cream at Rochester College – photo by Michael Dwyer

Author’s Pick

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Rochester College a few years ago. It was a treat, a tasty treat, to return and participate as both alumni and journalist. All the ice cream was udderly wonderful. I would not turn down any of the flavors offered during the event.

My favorite was Calder’s Dairy with their Coconut flavor. My second choice was Cook’s Dairy Farm and my third choice was Guernsey with their Butter Pecan flavor. I like the flavor of the Butter Pecan better than the pecans in the ice cream. I was also surprised that not one company had a chocolate-based ice cream … but there’s always next year (hint, hint).

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at


  1. The ice cream social event was very nice! Lots of tasty ice cream on hand– too bad I have egg and nut allergies, or I could have tasted them all. 🙂

  2. Would you send me John Tyson’s new contact info? I am a friend from ACU and would like to send him a note. Congratulations on having John as your new President. He is an outstanding Christian Leader/

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