Ohio Wesleyan University’s 17th president, Matt vandenBerg, Ed.D., took office July 1, 2023, with a determination to “build mightily on OWU’s rich history and pursue unprecedented heights with confidence, boldness, innovation, joy, vigor, and good humor.”
vandenBerg came to Ohio Wesleyan from Presbyterian College in South Carolina, where he helped the liberal arts school define and distinguish itself in the higher education landscape. His many achievements there included:
- Leading the college through an intensive and inclusive process to identify a distinctive new market position as “America’s Innovative Service College” and launching a strategic plan, with unanimous Board of Trustees’ approval, to support the position.
- Establishing a flex plan that provides a pathway for students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in select majors in three years; building a new Division of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, including an endowed vice presidency.
- Creating partnerships with an area technical school and high school to create South Carolina’s first 2+2 bachelor’s degree in education.
- And building partnerships with the community to drive economic development, cultural enrichment, and student engagement.
Before joining Presbyterian, he served as the vice president for advancement and external relations and as the vice president for advancement at Alma College in Michigan, as the associate vice president for development at Albion College in Michigan, and as the assistant dean for development and alumni relations at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing (Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses).
vandenBerg holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Affairs with concentrations in nonprofit management and public policy analysis from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts with a political science major and Spanish minor from Alma College in Michigan, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
He also holds a Certificate in the Principles and Techniques of Fundraising from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). In 2020-2021, he was selected as one of 35 cabinet officers from across the country to participate in the American Academic Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy, a yearlong senior leadership development program. vandenBerg also holds certificates for completing both Harvard University’s Seminar for New Presidents and Peking University’s Higher Education in China program.
Matt vandenBerg and his wife, Melissa, have a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Sylvia.
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