The Harding Center Advantage is a comprehensive college access and completion program. This program is meant to provide personal, professional, and academic support for incoming students. Students in the program are supported from their first semester through graduation.
Participants in the program will have several advantages at UCM, including unique opportunities to get involved on campus, assistance with finding on-campus employment, access to a success team who understand individual student needs, targeted academic coursework, tutoring and workshops, mentors and mentoring opportunities, and financial awards.
Retired President and CEO of Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group
Consultant and Lecturer
Michael Harding, '73, of Tomball, TX, has 36 years of operations experience with Fortune 500 company, Anheuser-Busch Companies. He is the recently retired president and chief executive officer of the company’s packaging group. He was responsible for creating high-quality, low-cost packaging materials for Anheuser-Busch and some of the world’s leading soft drink manufacturers. He provided managerial direction and leadership for the packaging group’s corporate offices in St. Louis, including 400 corporate and salaried employees involved in Operations, Engineering, Research and Development and Quality Assurance. He was also responsible for management of 14 manufacturing plants and facilities, with approximately 1,900 employees, throughout the United States. In retirement, Harding is a manufacturing consultant and a lecturer in management, working with universities in the greater Houston area.
Michael earned a bachelor of science degree from Central Missouri State University and master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University. He also successfully completed the Manufacturing Executive Program via the University of Michigan’s Business School and postgraduate studies in Industrial Technology/Manufacturing at the University of North Florida.
In addition to his appointment to the Anheuser-Busch Companies Strategy Committee, Michael has served as a director on the following boards: Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group; Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club; National Safety Council; Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and the Anheuser-Busch Companies Environmental, Health & Safety Policy Committee.
In order to become eligible for The Harding Center Advantage, you must be an incoming first-year student who has already submitted an application for admission to UCM. Students who become eligible for this program will receive a letter of invitation.
Once admitted, The Harding Center Advantage faculty and staff will get to know you and your academic goals, set up a plan for your success, and provide you with many advantages.
A select group of first-year students qualify for this scholarship program. Requirements include students admitted to UCM with a high school GPA between 2.0-2.89.
With the help of resources provided by the Harding Family endowment, we are able to offer this program at no additional cost to eligible students. UCM’s Student Financial Services can provide information about other forms of assistance.
At the beginning of the semester, you will meet with your Academic Success Advisor and your Academic Success Coach who will work with you to create an individualized learning plan that may include set study hours, tutoring, supplemental instruction, or other academic support. Your success team will check in with you often, suggest or require certain campus activities, and determine how to best support students’ individual needs. Above all else, they will get to know you and help you reach your academic goals.
The Harding Center Advantage student will continue to receive academic support and access to a success team. Out of class activities such as workshops, internships, and service learning experiences will be offered to students in the program. Additionally, upper class Harding Center Advantage students will have the opportunity to mentor incoming students.
No, orientation is essential. It provides students with an opportunity to receive their schedules and make final plans for the fall semester. It also provides an opportunity to become familiar with the campus. Students in The Harding Center Advantage program are encouraged to attend orientation in June.