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Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

Adam McNairy

Dec. 15, 2016

McNairy taking lessons he learned at Northwest to police service

Adam McNairy arrived at Northwest Missouri State University, unsure of his career aspirations. He’s since earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and become a more well-rounded person on his way to finding his purpose.

“My time here at Northwest has been a journey,” McNairy said. “I can say I’ve had some type of interaction with every aspect of campus, the Northwest experience and what it has to offer. I’ve benefitted from those resources.”

McNairy, a Kansas City, Missouri, native, chose Northwest to follow in the footsteps of his parents, who attended the University. His father, Adam McNairy Sr., had a stint on the Bearcat football team.

Although McNairy considered attending other universities, he said he felt welcome at Northwest from the moment he first stepped on the campus. He went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in graphic design and this fall completed a Master of Business Administration degree.

“I saw opportunity,” he said. “My journey here at Northwest has helped me become the best possible version of myself. I don’t see that happening anywhere else. I feel like this was a perfect fit. The relationships I’ve built with faculty, staff and students alike have propelled me to a great level.”

McNairy saw opportunity and seized it. He joined AdInk, the Student Activities Council, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. He served as president of the Men’s Minority Organization and was senior class representative on the Student Senate. He even co-founded and served as president of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.  

He also found employment on campus through Northwest’s internationally-benchmarked student employment program. McNairy worked in Campus Dining, Facility Services, University Marketing and Communication, Student Involvement, and Residential Life.

He also worked in the University Police Department as a student security officer, dispatcher and outreach coordinator. It was those experiences and interactions with department staff that opened his eyes to a career field he hadn’t thought of entering previously.

“Becoming an officer was something they always joked and hinted about, but that was never a thought that crossed my mind,” McNairy said.

In the spring, McNairy will attend the police academy with intentions of joining the University Police Department as an officer.

He counts University Police Chief Clarence Green as one of his mentors.

“That mentorship happened naturally,” McNairy said. “I didn’t seek him out. It was just working with him through various capacities. It’s just grown, and it’s helped me get through the graduate program.”

McNairy says the principles and lessons he learned as a Northwest student have prepared him well for his career.

“I love being a Bearcat,” he said. “To me, that means passion, love, community, success. That’s something I’ll take with me the rest of my life.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468