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Getting to know...Dr. Michael Merriman


After a successful and lengthy career in the business world, Dr. Michael Merriman is proud to bring his knowledge to the students at Wofford College. Merriman obtained his Ph.D. in finance (with a minor in statistics) from Kent State University in December.   


mmerri200“Almost everything I teach, I’ve lived, year in and year out for 20-plus years,” he says. 


Merriman, who has served as a treasurer, chief financial officer and division president during his career, decided that after 25 years in industry he was ready for a new challenge, although he remains a member of the board of directors for the Ohio company that he recently left. 


“I first started working about the same time as Professor (Andrew) Green in the finance department did,” he says. “We worked together for Ryder in Miami. We kept in touch over the years, and about the time I was finishing up my Ph.D., I gave him a call and told him I was going to be in the job market soon. 


“With my youngest daughter about to graduate from high school and my oldest daughter one year away from graduating from college, I felt it was a good time to change careers and move into academia. So I told him to keep his eyes and ears open, and he said he thought there would be an opening here at Wofford. Luckily there was.” 


While finishing his Ph.D. and working, Merriman taught a total of 10 sections of four different Finance courses. That was enough for him to get the teaching bug. 


“I like the interaction with the students,” he says. “I also enjoy the intrinsic reward you get when you’re able to convey knowledge, that moment when you see them grasp something and get excited about it.” 


It’s a mental serve/return of serve that stimulates the brain of both professor and student. Only fitting, since Merriman is a big fan of tennis outside of the classroom. 


mmerri175“I play a fair amount,” he says. “Not so much since I’ve moved here, primarily because I have to find new tennis partners. I’ve noticed the nice courts here, though.” 


Merriman says dessert is a guilty pleasure and also admits that he enjoyed watching the complete "O.C." TV series on DVD with his daughter, who was recovering from surgery to remove her wisdom teeth. He also likes to read, work out, walk or hike with his wife, and see new places. He has accomplished a couple of those at once during several whitewater-rafting trips, although it’s been a while since his last trip.     


“I used to go every year,” he says. “Years ago I told my rafting buddies that our goal should be to die on the Gauley River some day.” 


Thankfully he hasn’t. When asked about favorite TV shows, he indicates that when he starts to like a show, it’s usually a sure sign that show will be cancelled.  


“Eli Stone, Big Shots, and the HBO series Rome are just a few examples of this,” he laughs. 


Merriman had at least one connection with Wofford before even arriving on campus.  


“I have a terrier named Rocky,” he says. “He’s a Cairn terrier, so he may not look exactly like the Wofford terrier, but he has the same feisty attitude. My terrier thinks he’s a lot bigger than he really is. Of course, he was able to ‘terrierize’ my daughter’s ex-boyfriend, so much so that the boyfriend ended up on the ping-pong table cowering in fear from our 15-pound dog.”