Carl J. Strikwerda named 14th president of Elizabethtown College

College of William & Mary senior administrator brings strong leadership, outstanding credentials to Southeastern Pennsylvania private institution

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Carl J. Strikwerda

ELIZABETHTOWN, PA (01/11/2011)(readMedia)-- Important Note for Editors/Reporters: Additional information on Carl Strikwerda's academic and professional experience, high-resolution photographs and background on the presidential search process is available on the Presidential Search website. To access the site, visit and click on the Presidential Search button.

Following an almost yearlong national search, Elizabethtown College's Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Carl J. Strikwerda as the College's 14th president. After working collaboratively for a month alongside current Elizabethtown President Theodore E. Long, Strikwerda will begin his tenure Aug. 1, 2011.

Currently, Strikwerda is dean of the faculty of arts and sciences and professor of history at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. In this position, he oversees 378 faculty members, 21 departments and 14 interdisciplinary programs that serve 5,600 students, including 500 graduate students in six doctoral and 11 master's degree programs. During his six years at William & Mary, Strikwerda oversaw the construction of science buildings, helped create a program in community engagement and scholarship, and initiated work to win grants from the Freeman, Gates, Hewlett and Mellon foundations, as well as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a number of federal agencies. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Elizabethtown's incoming president regularly teaches a course on global history and advises international relations majors.

Elizabethtown College's Board of Trustees Chairman David E. Hosler believes Strikwerda's appointment will continue a legacy of effective management at the College. "Dr. Strikwerda brings to Elizabethtown College leadership that will continue to build on the momentum established over the last 15 years by our current president," Hosler said. "Carl's experience as a distinguished faculty member at a highly regarded institution, along with his administrative and fundraising abilities, will propel Elizabethtown forward."

Of his appointment, Strikwerda said, "Elizabethtown College has a strong tradition of student-centered learning and service to the community and the region. I'm honored to follow Ted Long's distinguished presidency and work with the faculty, board, staff, students, and alumni in continuing to strengthen the College's position as an excellent institution of higher learning and a valuable community partner."

The appointment of Strikwerda is the culmination of an almost yearlong search, led by a 15-member Presidential Search Committee composed of trustees, faculty members, students and alumni. The committee's recommendation of Strikwerda was unanimously confirmed by the College's Board of Trustees in late December 2010.

James E. Shreiner, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, calls Strikwerda an exceptional scholar, administrator and leader. "The Search Committee was impressed with his energy and commitment to global education, which is rooted in the traditional values of an Elizabethtown education. Carl will sharpen our vision for the future," he said.

According to William & Mary President Taylor Reveley, Elizabethtown College has made a marvelous choice. "As Dean of Arts & Sciences, Carl Strikwerda showed a keen understanding of higher education and the sort of commitment to faculty, staff and students that will serve him well as a college president. He has been an important member of William & Mary's administration, and we will miss him. I am confident Elizabethtown will thrive under Carl's leadership," said Reveley.

Prior to his tenure at William & Mary, Strikwerda served as an associate dean at the University of Kansas from 1998 until 2004, during which he helped create the European studies program and a peace and conflict studies minor; he led study abroad programs to Europe; and he won a Kemper Fellowship for excellence in teaching. In addition, Strikwerda helped to develop an indigenous nations studies program and forged strong ties with Haskell Indian Nations University, the nation's largest Native American college.

While at William & Mary and the University of Kansas, Strikwerda helped raise private funds for international studies, Jewish studies, writer-in-residence programs, honors programs and faculty and student research. In addition, he has held teaching positions at Calvin College, Hope College, SUNY Purchase and the University of California, Riverside.

Strikwerda earned a bachelor's degree from Calvin College, a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from the University of Michigan-all in history. He has published three books and numerous articles on European and global history and has won grants from the German Marshall Fund, the American Philosophical Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Strikwerda served as the historical consultant for the National World War I Museum and currently serves as treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the nation's largest association of arts and sciences deans.

Strikwerda is married to Gail Bossenga, who currently is an associate professor of history at William & Mary. Bossenga will join Elizabethtown College as an appointed scholar-in-residence.

Elizabethtown College, in southeastern Pennsylvania, is a private coed institution offering more than four dozen liberal arts, fine and performing arts, science and engineering, business, communications and education degrees. Through personal attention, creative inspiration and academic challenge, Elizabethtown College students are encouraged to expand their intellectual curiosity and are given the opportunity to become a bigger part of the world through experiential learning-research, internships and study abroad. Elizabethtown College's overall commitment to Educate for Service is fulfilled as students are taught intellectually, socially, aesthetically and ethically for lives of service and leadership.

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