McKendree Magazine - Summer 2018

5 Minutes with Daryl Hancock, Chief of Staff

Daryl Hancock
by Lisa Brandon, Director of Media Relations

As a highly decorated former senior officer in the U.S. Navy intelligence community, retired Capt. Daryl Hancock brings a wealth of military leadership experience to his new civilian role. In 2017, he joined the Office of the President as chief of staff to assist in day-to-day operations, to respond quickly and comprehensively to issues as they arise, and to work with the vice presidents to address important challenges.

Daryl is also executive director of McKendree Worldwide, which includes online and graduate programs, the Kentucky campuses and the Center at Scott Air Force Base. Leveraging his military experience, he has helped established a number of veterans, cyber and intelligence related programs, including the SALUTE National Honor Society, Cyber Academy, Competitive Cyber Defense Team, active learning centers in Illinois and Kentucky, and theHub, a new multipurpose learning space.

Commissioned through the ROTC at the University of Illinois, Daryl began his 30-year naval career as a surface warfare officer serving aboard a guided-missile destroyer and had several unique tours aboard the USS Constitution, as an ROTC instructor, and as officer-in-charge of a sail training vessel. For more than 20 years he was an intelligence officer operating afloat and ashore. He supported stabilization and combat operations in Iraq, the Balkans and Haiti, tsunami relief operations in Indonesia, and counter piracy operations off Somalia. He served in senior leadership roles at the Office of Naval Intelligence, Pentagon, National Security Agency, Fleet Cyber Command, and with NATO as U.S. Senior National Representative and leader of NATO’s Advisory Team to the Tunisian military. He even served a tour at nearby Scott AFB as commander of the intelligence and operations center for Transportation Command.

His connection to NATO has enabled the University to offer a new Allied Maritime Command Annual Scholarship and a NATO Forces Scholarship tuition discount for military personnel enrolled in online programs.

Daryl grew up in Marion, Ill., with strong family ties to education and administration. His father, Dr. Ray Hancock, is a retired college president; his wife, Colleen, is a high school math teacher; and his daughter, Elizabeth, is an elementary school teacher. He holds master’s degrees from Purdue University (education administration) and the Naval War College (national security and strategic studies). He is also a senior executive fellow from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and currently is pursuing a doctorate in education from the University of Illinois. We asked the new chief of staff a few questions:


The McKendree family helped make the transition amazingly smooth. As a naval officer, one of my primary responsibilities was to lead our nation’s talented young men and women to do amazing things. I found it rewarding and felt I made a difference. I feel the same way here.


I’ve had the privilege of leading at all levels, as a commander of large complex organizations, to small teams afloat and ashore. Through these opportunities I learned the value of motivation, communication, diversity, trust, integrity, setting high standards, planning, adapting, setting the example for others, and many more leadership principles. I believe I have something to contribute at McKendree, while continuing to learn from the president to our newest students.


I suspect quite a bit would surprise them. I spent three decades in the military, doing some very unique things on every continent but Antarctica, but my life before McKendree doesn’t come up much with colleagues. So I suppose they would be surprised at how radically different, neither better nor worse, but how very different my life has been compared to my work environment here.