From the Worldwide Faith News archives

St. Olaf College President Resigns

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date 13 Apr 2000 13:51:31


April 13, 2000


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Dr. Mark U. Edwards, Jr., 53, ninth president of
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., will resign from his post effective
Oct. 1.  St. Olaf is one of 28 colleges and universities of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
     "I have been honored to serve the St. Olaf community during a time
when the college has moved from strength to greater strength as one of
the nation's finest residential liberal arts colleges.  I am confident
that the college is now securely positioned to thrive in the 21st
century," Edwards told members of the St. Olaf board of regents Apr. 10.
     "With an awareness of life's finitude and contingency raised by my
bout with cancer four years ago, I decided it is time for me to refocus
my energies on family, scholarship and other life-long interests,"
Edwards said.
     Edwards told the board he will remain an "'Ole' by the grace of
God" and intends in the coming months to support the college's
fundraising campaign.  Edwards said he will remain an "enthusiastic
volunteer for the college" he has "come to love."
     Edwards earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from
Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., in 1968.  He earned a master of
arts degree in history there in 1969, and a doctorate in history in
     From 1971 to 1974, Edwards was a Junior Fellow at the University
of Michigan's Society of Fellows, Ann Arbor, Mich.  From 1974 to 1980 he
taught at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.  He taught history at
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., from 1980 to 1987, and was
professor of history in Christianity at the Harvard University Divinity
School, New Haven, Conn., from 1987 to 1994.
     Edwards became president of St. Olaf on July 1, 1994.
     Edwards is the author of four books and wrote numerous articles on
Martin Luther, a German 16th century church reformer.
     In a statement from St. Olaf's board of regents, the Rev. Martin
E. Marty, chair, Chicago, said, "We wish we could retain President
Edwards for a longer period, so positive is his leadership; but we
understand his reasons for making this move.
     "President Edwards inherited leadership of a very strong college
and helped make it very much stronger.  We have profited most from his
ability to do long-range planning and from his vision and courage to
carry out the shorter-term policies that will help assure a bright
future for St. Olaf.  He has been particularly gifted at assembling and
leading a senior administrative team, and we count on their continued
leadership," the statement said.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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