Jonathan Manz

We strive to help incoming students (both first year and transfer) make personal connections, find ways to engage with the many opportunities at L&C, and successfully meet their academic goals.

Jonathan Manz 2023




Director of First-Year Experience

Department or Office

First-Year Experience

What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?

Beautiful, Explorative, Diverse

What is the First-Year Experience?

Our charge is to create a welcoming and supportive environment for new L&C students. We strive to help incoming students (both first year and transfer) make personal connections, find ways to engage with the many opportunities at L&C, and to successfully meet their academic goals.

How does the First-Year Experience help students?

We have many different initiatives to support incoming students. Two of our biggest initiatives are New Student Orientation (NSO) and the New Student Peer Mentor program. NSO is an exciting five-day event designed to welcome new students and prepare to start their collegiate journey at L&C. Peer Mentors are the crème de la crème of current students who journey alongside new students, starting during NSO and going through the fall semester.

What is your favorite aspect of your position at L&C?

The people! Our college has fantastic students, faculty, and staff and I am fortunate to get to interact with these great people on a daily basis. It doesn’t hurt that our campus is absolutely gorgeous!

What do you enjoy most about Lewis & Clark students?

We have students from most of the states in the U.S., in addition to a variety of other countries. I love the different perspectives, interests, and ideas our students bring to our campus community. This diversity of thought is the very essence of a great liberal arts college.

What should incoming students know about L&C?

We are a liberal arts college that provides the faculty, staff, and courses that allow you to explore your various interests. A lot of colleges push you to choose a major before you even take your first class. At L&C we want you to take a variety of courses, get involved in clubs, the arts, and/or athletics, and discover your own educational path. We will be here to support you along the journey.

What brought you to L&C?

I started at the college in July 2022. I was immediately won over by the warm and inviting faculty, staff, and students that I met. I believe we have fantastic leadership leading our college and I really appreciate having such supportive colleagues. And have I mentioned we have a beautiful campus? :)

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Standing in the estate garden on a clear day and looking towards Mt. Hood. You can’t beat that view!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

I’m cheating and sharing two things I like about living here. First, when I moved here from the Midwest, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much everything stays green here, even in the winter. We have beautiful, tall pines that compliment the picturesque landscape and scenery. Second, I love the emphasis on local establishments from restaurants, theaters, coffee shops, and breweries.

What’s one of your best L&C memories?

My first year at L&C was also President Holmes-Sullivan’s first year as president. I really enjoyed attending her inauguration and reception. The strong showing and the guests in attendance really demonstrated how much respect people have for our college and our president.

Share something you think students would be surprised to learn about you.

My wife and I have three kids that were born in three different states. And my daughters share a birthday … four years apart!