From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA's Roanoke College Names Sabine O'Hara New President

Date Tue, 6 Apr 2004 16:32:20 -0500


April 6, 2004

ELCA's Roanoke College Names Sabine O'Hara New President

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Dr. Sabine U. O'Hara was elected March 30
as president of Roanoke College, Salem, Va., one of 28 colleges
and universities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA). O'Hara was elected by a unanimous vote of the Roanoke
College board of trustees, said Robert E. Wortmann, Englewood,
N.J., board chair.
     O'Hara, 48, is academic vice president and dean at Concordia
College, an ELCA college in Moorhead, Minn.  She has held that
post since 2002.
     O'Hara, who will begin as president in August, will be the
10th president in Roanoke College's 162-year history.  She will
succeed Dr. David M. Gring, who will retire in June after 15
years as president.  O'Hara was recommended by a 13-member
presidential search committee, according to a Roanoke College
news release.
     O'Hara visited the campus in March as part of the interview
process and will return in mid-April to attend the spring board
of trustees meeting, Wortmann said.
     "It will be a real privilege to serve as president of
Roanoke College," O'Hara said. "President Gring's outstanding
leadership has put Roanoke in a position of great strength, and I
have been most impressed with Roanoke's tradition of academic
strength and with the commitment and quality of its people. It
will be my distinct pleasure to partner with such a talented and
dedicated community in guiding the college's continued
advancement to national prominence and recognition for its
academic reputation and commitment to service."
     "The faculty and college community are very excited about
the arrival of Dr. O'Hara," said Dr. Michael A. Hakkenberg,
Roanoke College professor of history and a member of the search
committee. "We were impressed with her energy and commitment to
the mission of the college and believe that she will provide the
strong leadership and vision that is necessary to move Roanoke
College to the next level among nationally ranked liberal arts
     During her service at Concordia College, O'Hara implemented
a new division structure in academic affairs with five
interdisciplinary academic divisions for a more collaborative
working structure, the news release said. She expanded the
international education program and implemented three new
initiatives. The first was a strategic initiative grant that
provided funding to help early-career faculty members advance
their research and teaching agendas or to help those in mid-
career change their research focuses and develop new innovative
teaching models.  A second initiative was the "Regents Scholars"
grants, designed to foster innovation and information.	The third
was an undergraduate assistant program that awards paid
undergraduate research assistantships to talented undergraduate
     Before she joined Concordia College, O'Hara was provost and
professor of economics at Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vt.
She was director of graduate studies in economics at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., and served as director of
public policy for the New York State Council of Churches.  She
was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
     O'Hara, a Lutheran, was born and educated in Germany. She
holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of
Goettingen, Germany, where she earned a doctorate in
environmental economics.
     O'Hara is author of two books: Economic Theory for
Environmentalists (1995) and External Effects of Nitrate
Fertilization (1984).  She is author of more than 30 peer-
reviewed papers and book chapters. Her honors and awards include
recognition for her papers, teaching and service.  O'Hara has
lectured and presented workshops nationally and internationally.
She is a member of the editorial board of "Review of Social
     O'Hara's service also includes board memberships with Girls
Incorporated of the Greater Capital District, Employee Ownership
Project, Damien Center for AIDS Ministries, the Association for
Social Economics and the International Society for Ecological
Economics. She has initiated a number of economic development and
urban revitalization projects and has been recognized for her
community-based approaches to economic development.
     O'Hara and her husband, the Rev. Philip O'Hara, a pastor in
the United Methodist Church, have three sons. Two are college
students, and the third is a high school sophomore.
-- -- --
     Information about Roanoke College is at on the Web.

* Teresa T. Gereaux is director of public relations for Roanoke

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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