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Elizabethtown College president to step down in June 2019 after eight years

Posted 2/12/18

Elizabethtown College President Carl J. Strikwerda has announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2019, after two four-year terms.

The college’s Board of Trustees will oversee a search …

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Elizabethtown College president to step down in June 2019 after eight years

Posted

Elizabethtown College President Carl J. Strikwerda has announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2019, after two four-year terms.

The college’s Board of Trustees will oversee a search for his successor beginning immediately.

He has been president since Aug. 1, 2011. While Strikwerda has been at the helm, Elizabethtown College has raised almost $50 million for its BE More Inspired capital campaign. It has expanded the graduate programs and grant funding and joined the Landmark Athletic Conference and the American Talent Initiative, according to a press release from the college. The latter commits to increase the number of transfer students by 400 percent by 2021.

Elizabethtown College also has seen new initiatives such as Prestigious Scholarships, the Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, the President’s Promise of Affordability, a Summer Creative Arts and Research Program, Signature Learning Experiences and the Social Enterprise Institute and has made significant improvements to the campus through the Gibble Auditorium, Bollman Fabrication Laboratory, Hess Archives, High Library, Thompson Gym, The Young Center and Nicarry Hall, the release said.

New majors, minors, concentrations and endorsements have been introduced during Strikwerda’s time in office including concentrations in civil and biomedical engineering and new majors in data science and chemistry laboratory sciences. There are plans to add a physician’s assistant program and a doctorate program in occupational therapy.

Most recently, the college broke ground on the $24.5 million Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Well-being.

Strikwerda is a specialist in modern European history and the history of globalization. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan. He taught at the State University of New York at Purchase and the University of California at Riverside before becoming a faculty member of the University of Kansas’ Department of History in 1987. At the University of Kansas, he was promoted to full professor and named associate dean of liberal arts and sciences in 1998.

He left the University of Kansas in 2004 to accept the position of Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he served until taking the position at Elizabethtown in 2011.

A search committee will be assembled in the months ahead with input from faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the local business community.

Strikwerda and his wife, Gail, plan to move to Washington, D.C.