(May 4, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Provost Selected as New President For Wartburg College

Dr. Darrel D. Colson
Dr. Darrel D. Colson

SHREVEPORT, La.— Dr. Darrel D. Colson, provost and dean at Centenary College of Louisiana, has been selected to become the 17th president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

Dr. Colson is leaving Centenary after seven years as its chief academic officer and will assume his new duties at Wartburg College July 1.

The Wartburg College Board of Regents announced Colson's selection today following an extensive search. Colson will succeed Jack R. Ohle, who resigned in April 2008 after 10 years at Wartburg to become president of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. Dr. William E. Hamm, a Wartburg alumnus and former president of Waldorf College, has served as interim president.

"It has been a remarkable gift to work for Centenary College of Louisiana," said Colson. "I was fortunate to have been given a chance to serve here, and I take with me important lessons that will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. I have often said that Centenary's faculty is, pound for pound, the best faculty I've yet had the pleasure to work with; and I've just as often remarked that our staff is motivated by a level of devotion that I've rarely seen."

Centenary's president, Dr. Ken Schwab, said of this news, "Dr. Colson has been an outstanding leader of our academic programs during his years on our campus. He has worked with integrity and grace and has the respect of the faculty and the entire college community. He will be missed as he pursues this exciting opportunity to serve as a college president. He is a good friend and I wish him all the best as he and Christy enter this new chapter of their lives."

Colson earned a bachelor's degree from LSU, and then took his master's and Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to Centenary, he had held the Fletcher Jones Chair of Great Books at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

Colson arrived at Centenary in 2002 as provost and dean. In that role, he oversaw all academic programs, institutional research, information technology, admissions, financial aid, the registrar's office, intercultural/international study, service-learning, academic support, the Christian Leadership Center, and the Meadows Museum. Even as an administrator, he continued to teach a philosophy class every year.

"I have long been drawn to the values and character of Lutheran higher education, and I have long held a very high opinion of Wartburg College," Colson said. "As I became more deeply involved in this search process, learning more and more about Wartburg's specific mission to educate students whose leadership and service express their learning and faith, I knew that our values —mine and Wartburg's — were a perfect match."

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.