Elizabethtown College president to retire in 2019

Carl Strikwerda - (Photo / Submitted)

After eight years on the job, Elizabethtown College president Carl Strikwerda plans to retire from the school in 2019.

Announced by the board of trustees for Elizabethtown College, Strikwerda’s retirement caps what will be two four-year terms marked by expansion and fundraising for the school.

In a statement to students and staff, Strikwerda said: “It has been a joy and honor to serve you, our alumni and the surrounding community as president of the College for the last seven years.”

Shortly after being elected to the position in 2011, Strikwerda unveiled a five-year strategy for increasing the school’s publicity, programming and financial sustainability.

That strategy resulted in a $24.5 million sports and health complex as well as $47 million in fundraising for the college’s scholarships, research and campus renewal.

Before joining the college, Strikwerda served as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., for seven years and as the dean of liberal arts and sciences at the University of Kansas for six years.

His retirement will take effect in June 2019. He plans to move to Washington, D.C. with his wife, Gail Bossenga.

Strikwerda is a noted scholar of World War I, frequently giving guest lectures on the century-old conflict. He is currently working on his fourth book, tentatively titled “The World at the Crossroads: The Great War and the Re‐Making of Modern History.” He also teaches a class at Elizabethtown College entitled “Peace and War in A Global World,” which he will not continue in retirement.

The college’s 43-member board will be conducting a search for his replacement but did not provide a timeline for when a successor would be chosen.

Elizabethtown College offers 56 majors and 92 minors to 1,900 undergraduate students at a 200-acre campus in Elizabethtown borough. According to its annual financial statement, the school saw $69.5 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending June 30 2017, $42 million of which came from net tuition. The school held total assets of $193 million and employs 123 full-time faculty.

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